HIV Basics

HIV is spread in certain ways such as:

  • By having sex with someone who has HIV
  • By sharing needles or other equipment that has blood on it or in it (i.e. injecting drugs, piercing a body part, tattoos, etc.)
  • From a mother who has HIV to her baby-- before or during birth, or after birth through breastfeeding

HIV is not spread by casual contact such as:

  • Sitting next to someone
  • Shaking hands or giving a hug
  • Dry or social kissing
  • Eating in a restaurant
  • Using restrooms, water coolers or telephones
  • Swimming in a pool or using a hot tub
  • Being bitten by mosquitoes or other insects
  • Donating blood