Published January, 1999

HIV and Its Transmission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1999

This fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines the ways in which HIV can and cannot be transmitted from one individual to another. HIV is primarily transmitted through sexual contact, by sharing needles and/or syringes, or from mother to child before or during birth or during breastfeeding. The report dispels myths about transmission through the environment, households, businesses, kissing, biting, saliva, sweat, tears, and insects. It addresses the very small number of known cases of transmission from patients to health care providers through needle sticks (or, more rarely, through blood getting into a health care worker's exposed mucous membrane), and that there is only one known instance in which a health care provider transmitted HIV to patients. The document emphasizes that no other routes of transmission have been identified despite extensive research, and states that condoms are highly effective in preventing the spread of HIV through sexual contact.