Which STIs can be transmitted in other ways besides sex?
What is the most common way HIV is spread?
The two most common modes of transmission for HIV are needle/syringe use and sexual activity (specifically involving sexual fluids, blood, or breastmilk). These fluids must come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be directly injected into the bloodstream (from a needle or syringe) for transmission to occur. Mucous membranes are found inside the rectum, vagina, penis, and mouth.
Mother-to-child transmission is a less common mode of transmission, especially in parts of the world where pregnant people have regular access to medical care and are screened for STIs.