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 Main Known Modes of HIV Transmission
Having vaginal or anal sex without a condom with someone who is infected.

Having contact with the blood of someone who has HIV. This could be having a blood transfusion from someone who is infected with HIV

From a mother who has HIV to her baby: HIV can pass to the baby during pregnancy, during the birth of the baby, or through breast-feeding. Only about one in three babies born to HIV-positive mothers get HIV.

Receiving an injection from an unsterilized needle that was previously used by someone with HIV.

Heterosexual transmission is the route by which most people with AIDS have become infected with HIV worldwide
This category of AIDS cases is also among the most rapidly increasing.

A significant portion of HIV infection among women in the World is acquired through heterosexual contact. HIV can be found in the blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, or vaginal fluid of a person infected with the virus. The lining of the vagina can tear and allow HIV to enter the body. Direct absorption of HIV through the mucous membranes that line the vagina is also a possibility. The male may be at less risk for HIV transmission than the female through vaginal intercourse. However, HIV can enter the body of the male through his urethra (the opening at the tip of the penis) or through small cuts or open sores on the penis. HIV can also be transmitted to a man or a woman through anal sex.

Using a latex condom at every sexual encounter is the best way to protect against HIV. A condom is more likely to break during anal sex than vaginal sex. Therefore, during anal sex, a water-based lubricant should be used in addition to a condom to reduce the chances of the condom breaking.

Infection of HIV is explained as below:
Infection is aided by Langerhans cells in mucosal epithelial surfaces which can become infected. The CD4+ T-lymphocytes have surface receptors to which HIV can attach to promote entry into the cell. The infection extends to lymphoid tissues (MALT) which contain follicular dendritic cells that can become infected and provide a reservoir for continuing infection of CD4+ T-lymphocytes.

Transmission is intracellular: HIV transmission most likely requires HIV-infected cells, such as macrophages, lymphocyte or spermatozoa, which enter the body through microabrasions of the mucous membranes or through penetration of the skin with a needle.

Infection is also aided by the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases that can produce mucosal ulceration and inflammation.

Transmission via free virus appears to be unlikely.
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