- "Can HIV transmission occur during casual contact with an HIV+ person?"
Simply put, the answer to this question is no; HIV transmission can't occur during casual contact. HIV is not transmitted by day-to-day contact in the workplace, schools, or social settings. HIV is not transmitted through shaking hands, hugging, or a casual kiss. You can't become infected from a toilet seat, a drinking fountain, a door knob, dishes, drinking glasses, food, or pets.
There have been a few documented cases of HIV transmission in which a person became infected in the home as a result of contact with the blood or bodily secretions of an HIV+ person. Although contact with blood and other body substances can occur in households, transmission of HIV is rare in this setting. However rare, persons persons providing home care for HIV+ people should be fully educated and trained regarding in the use of universal precautions.
Keep in mind that HIV is not an airborne or food-borne virus, and it does not live long outside the body.
HIV can be found in the blood, semen, or vaginal fluid of an infected person. The three main ways HIV is transmitted is:
- by having unprotected sex (anal, vaginal, or oral) with someone HIV+
- by sharing needles and syringes with someone who is HIV+
- through exposure to HIV before or during childbirth, or while breast feeding.