Am I at risk?

HIV cannot be passed on through every day social contact.
You may already know that there is no risk from activities such as kissing, hugging, sharing cutlery, drinking from the same glass or sharing food, or from contact with surfaces such as toilet seats. You shouldn’t be worried about HIV transmission through saliva either; the virus is not present in sufficient quantity to cause transmission.

A common worry is about possible HIV transmission through open cuts and bleeding. The HIV virus can only be passed on if body fluids such as blood exits the body of someone with HIV and enters the blood stream of someone who does not have HIV through another open cut. Cases where open cuts have resulted in HIV transmission are extremely rare; perhaps only one or two cases globally can be attributed to this as the virus is not strong enough to survive outside the body for any length of time. You can read about possible ways HIV can be transmitted by clicking here.

The main route of transmission of HIV is through sexual contact or if injecting drugs recreationally. The most effective means of protection are to practice safer sex, have regular sexual health checks and if you inject drugs to only use sterile injecting equipment. Click here for more information on protection and for information about condoms and lubricant.