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Which body fluids transmit HIV?
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En Espaņol

These body fluids have been shown to contain high concentrations of HIV:

  • blood
  • semen
  • vaginal fluid
  • breast milk
  • other body fluids containing blood

The following are additional body fluids that may transmit the virus that health care workers may come into contact with:

  • fluid surrounding the brain and the spinal cord
  • fluid surrounding bone joints
  • fluid surrounding an unborn baby

HIV has been found in the saliva and tears of some persons living with HIV, but in very low quantities. It is important to understand that finding a small amount of HIV in a body fluid does not necessarily mean that HIV can be transmitted by that body fluid. HIV has not been recovered from the sweat of HIV-infected persons. Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.

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Last Modified: October 20, 2006
Last Reviewed: October 20, 2006
Content Source:
Divisions of HIV/AIDS Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
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