HIV exposure can occur during sexual intercourse. Vaginal sex and anal sex have risks of HIV transmission, if exposed. There have been reported cases
of HIV transmission via oral sex
, but it is considered extremely rare compared to transmission during intercourse. Anal sex maintains the highest risk of transmission among sexual activity. Bleeding is more likely during anal sex due to the fragile tissues that line the anus and anal canal. This allows the virus to enter the body more easily even if visible bleeding is not observed, as breaks in anal mucosa may be microscopic. HIV can also be transmitted from a woman to child during pregnancy
, delivery, and through breastfeeding. Any circumstance in which someone is directly exposed to the blood of a person who is living with HIV and has a detectable or measurable viral load
can be a risk factor. This includes sharing needles for injection drug use or getting a tattoo with contaminated instruments. Safety regulations generally prevent blood transfusion-related infection.