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How Infection Occurs

HIV lives in bodily fluids. The HIV virus is spread when an infected person's body fluid gets into the bloodstream of another. Body fluids which carry HIV include blood, pre-ejaculate, semen, vaginal secretions, or breast milk.  It is not transmitted through everyday social contact.  Touching, hugging, kissing and shaking hands with an HIV positive person does not open the door for infection. Casual contact is safe.  Neither do insects or pets spread the HIV virus.  In medical settings, standard precautionary measures now in place prevent the transmission of HIV when donating blood or receiving a transfusion.

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