Transmission of HIV
HIV is transmitted in human body fluids by three major routes: (1) sexual intercourse through vaginal, rectal, or penile tissues; (2) direct injection with HIV-contaminated drugs, needles, syringes, blood or blood products; and (3) from HIV-infected mother to fetus in utero, through intrapartum inoculation from mother to infant or during breast-feeding (Stine 155). According to the CDC, HIV is not spread by tears, sweat, coughing or sneezing. Nor it is transmitted via a an infected person's clothes, phone, driking glasses, eating utensils or other objects that HIV- infected people have used that are free of blood.
Sexual tranmission of HIV happens when infected semen, blood , or vaginal secretions enter the bloodstream of a partner. Although HIV can be transmitted during vaginal or oral penetration, unprotected anal sex by a male or female seems to be the most dangerous. The risk to acquire HIV depends mainly on three factors: (1) the number of sexual partners; (2) the prevalence of HIV infection in these partners; (3) the probability of virus transmission during sexual contact.
Heterosexual HIV Transmission
In 1985, less than 2% of AIDS cases were from the heterosexual population. However, by 1993 the number increased to a 8% of the total number of reported cases in the United States. Data demonstrate that heterosexually transmitted HIV infection is growing at a faster rate than homosexual or IDUs (Stine 180).
Injection Drug Users and HIV Transmission
For 1996, from the total cases reported to the CDC, 36% were directly ot indireclty associated with injecting-drug use. (Stine 188). Injecting-drug-user associated with AIDS cases include persons who are IDUs, their heterosexual sex partners and children whose mothers were IDUs or sex partners of IDUs.
Is HIV transmitted by insects?
Epidemological data from Africa and the Unites States suggests that AIDS was not transmitted by insect bites. If this would be the case, many more cases would be reported among children and elderly people.
In 1987, the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) published on the question of whether blood-sucking insects such as mosquitoes and biting flies transmitt HIV. The answer was that the conditions necessary for successful transmission of HIV through insect bites and the probability of their occuring rule out the possibility of insect transmission as a significant factor in the spread of AIDS (Stine 161).
Other Means of Transmission
Rare cases have been reported to the CDC of HIV transmission via acupuncture, artificial insemination , tattoo, and human bite. Most of the incidents have occurred due to the use of a used needle and the transfusion of body fluids such as blood.