Which body fluids are infectious?
The risk of HIV transmission is related to different factors.
- Which body fluids are infectious.
- How infection occurs – the ‘route’ of infection.
- Other risk factors – including viral load, type of sex, genetics etc.
Only some body fluids have the potential to be infectious.
In someone not taking HIV treatment (ART), these include:
- Sexual fluids (semen and vaginal fluid).
- Mucus from the vagina and anus.
- Drinking breastmilk is infectious to a baby but not to an adult.
- Tears (from crying) might be a theoretical risk. This is unlikely to be an actual risk.
- Saliva, spit, urine and faeces are not infectious for HIV.
HIV positive people taking effective ART are NOT sexually infectious. (See U=U).
Last updated: 1 June 2021.