HIV lives in the following bodily fluids of an infected person:

  • blood
  • semen and pre-cum
  • rectal fluids/anal mucous
  • vaginal fluids
  • breast milk.

A person living with HIV can pass the virus on to others.  The most common ways for this to happen are through:

  • Having unprotected vaginal or anal sex (sex without a condom) with someone who has HIV.
  • Sharing injecting equipment with someone who has HIV.
  • Passed from mother-to-baby during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.  This is extremely rare in the UK because pregnant women are tested for HIV as part of their care and if they are HIV positive, women can take HIV medication to stop this happening.