What Causes HIV?

HIV is an STD (sexually transmitted disease), and sexual transmission of HIV has been described from men to men, men to women, women to men, and women to women through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The spread of HIV can occur when these secretions come in contact with tissues such as;

  • those lining the vagina, anal area, mouth, eyes (the mucus membranes), and
  • with a break in the skin, such as from a cut or puncture by a needle.

The most common ways in which HIV is spreading throughout the world include;

  • sexual contact,
  • sharing needles, and
  • by mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy, labor (the delivery process), or breastfeeding.

The best way to avoid sexual transmission is abstinence from sex until it is certain that both partners in a monogamous relationship are not HIV infected through simple, easy, and readily available privately in clinics around the U.S.