There are many different myths about how HIV is transmitted, here we aim to provide the facts about HIV transmission.

There is no evidence that shows that you can catch HIV through saliva. There is however strong evidence that you can catch the HIV virus through exchanging blood, semen and vaginal fluids.

HIV can be detected in saliva, but it cannot be passed to other people through kissing. This is because of a combination of antibodies and enzymes that are found naturally in saliva, that prevent HIV from infecting new cells.

How is HIV spread?

HIV is commonly spread through sexual intercourse, oral and anal sex. The virus can also be spread through sharing needles, and it can be passed via mother-to-child at birth. However, there are ways of preventing HIV from being passed onto a baby, making this method of transmission very unlikely in the UK.

The risk of transmission to a baby can be reduced by giving antiviral medication to the mother and the baby; by giving birth with a cesarean; and by not breastfeeding the baby.

Ways You Cannot Catch HIV

Below are some myths about ways of catching HIV, however these are not true, and you cannot catch HIV by doing any of the below:

  • kissing
  • resuscitation through mouth-to-mouth
  • getting sneezed on by someone with HIV
  • sharing baths, towels or cutlery
  • swimming
  • sitting on a toilet seat

If you have any more questions about the transmission of aids then please feel free to contact us and one of our sex educators would be more than happy to get back to you.

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