Can I get HIV from casual contact

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HIV and Casual Contact

No. HIV is not transmitted by day-to-day contact in the workplace, schools, or social settings. HIV is not transmitted through shaking hands, hugging, or a casual kiss. You cannot become infected from a toilet seat, a drinking fountain, a door knob, dishes, drinking glasses, food, or pets.

HIV is not an airborne or food-borne virus, and it does not live long outside the body. HIV can be found in the blood, semen, or vaginal fluid of an infected person. The three main ways HIV is transmitted are

  • through having sex (anal, vaginal, or oral) with someone infected with HIV.


  • through sharing needles and syringes with someone who has HIV.

  • through exposure (in the case of infants) to HIV before or during birth, or through breast feeding.

For more information about HIV transmission, see "HIV and Its Transmission."

Although contact with blood and other body substances can occur in households, transmission of HIV is rare in this setting. A small number of transmission cases have been reported in which a person became infected with HIV as a result of contact with blood or other body secretions from an HIV-infected person in the household. For information on these cases refer to the May 20, 1994 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,