How HIV is Transmitted

  • By sexual contact with an infected person
  • By sharing needles and/or syringes (primarily for drug injection) with someone who is infected
  • Through transfusions of infected blood or blood clotting factors (rare due to blood screening)
  • Babies born to HIV-infected women may become infected before or during birth or through breast-feeding after birth
  • Accidentally being stuck with a needle containing HIV-infected blood (usually hidden within garbage)

How to prevent getting HIV/AIDS

  • Gloves should be worn during contact with blood or other body fluids that could possibly contain visible blood, such as urine, feces, or vomit
  • Cuts, sores, or breaks on both the caregivers and patients exposed skin should be covered with bandages
  • Hands and other parts of the body should be washed immediately after contact with blood or other body fluids, and surfaces soiled with blood should be disinfected appropriately
  • Practices that increase the likelihood of blood contact, such as sharing of razors and toothbrushes, should be avoided
  • Needles and other sharp instruments should be used only when medically necessary and handled according to recommendations for health-care settings. (Do not put caps back on needles by hand or remove needles from syringes. Dispose of needles in puncture-proof containers

For more information or to get tested: Talk with your doctor, local public health unit, or community health/resource centre