>The HIV virus is transmitted through three primary routes:
The following body fluids spread HIV:
HIV cannot be spread by:
Reducing the risk of HIV
If the patient uses injection drugs, he or she can reduce risk by not sharing needles. It's important that they understand that using a needle that is not sterile not only reduces the possibility of HIV, but of hepatitis B and other blood-borne pathogens. (Most people are aware of the risk involved in sharing needles when injecting drugs. What many do not realize is that the "tie off" also, if shared, may pick up blood from one user and transfer it to another.)
The same holds true for those who share needles for tattooing, body piercing, or medicinal purposes (i.e. diabetes). The potential risk of infection is just as high for these 'legal' uses as it is for those that are illegal.
Modifying behavior will also reduce the risk. Drug and alcohol use are a prime example. When people are high or inebriated they may participate in sexual activities that put them at risk.
One more way to reduce risk is for health and childcare workers who come into contact with blood or bodily fluids containing blood, to follow universal precautions that prevent HIV, hepatitis B, and other blood-borne pathogen infections. These precautions include:
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The information provided by Rainbow Access Initiative, Inc. is for educational purposes only and is not intended to render medical advice or professional services. The information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease and is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your healthcare provider.
Rainbow Access Initiative is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.
These materials were produced through a grant from the New York State Department of Health.
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Permission may be obtained by contacting the Director.