The risk of HIV transmission is related to different factors. These include:
- Which body fluids are infectious.
- How infection occurs – often called the ‘routes of infection’.
- Other risk factors including viral load, type of sex, genetics etc.
Only some bodily fluids have the potential to be infectious.
- Sexual fluids (semen and vaginal fluid).
- Mucus from the vagina and anus.
- Breast milk is infectious to a baby but is unlikely to be infectious to an adult.
- Tears may be infectious but this is more a theoretical caution than a likely route of actual transmission.
Saliva, spit, urine and faeces are not infectious for HIV.
There then has to be a route for another person to become infected.