Which body fluids are infectious?
The risk of HIV transmission is related to different factors.
- Which body fluids are infectious.
- How infection occurs – often called the ‘routes of infection’.
- Other risk factors – including viral load, type of sex, genetics etc.
Only some body fluids have the potential to be infectious.
- 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 – but unlikely actual risk.
- Saliva, spit, urine and faeces are not infectious for HIV.
Last updated: 1 December 2019.