The HIV virus is in biological fluids (blood, semen , vaginal secretions , breast milk ) of a HIV positive person. The virus in these fluids can pass through small wounds in the mouth, in the anus , in genital organ, or through skin lacerations , some through mucous membranes ( eyes , inside the nose) thus reaching the bloodstream of another person, infecting her. You can get infected also intravenously , sharing the same needles for injecting substances , or through transfusions of infected blood and its derivatives. Both men and women can be the source of HIV infection. Pregnant women or during childbirth or breastfeeding can also transmit the virus to their child . The most frequent ways of transmission of HIV are still: sharing syringes for injecting drugs / steroids and unprotected sex . HIV is not transmitted by touching or hugging an infected person ; using or sharing the same cups, glasses, cutlery or telephone ; going to places like swimming pools or public baths ; through insect bites . The HIV virus is not in the air or in food , and survives outside the body for a very short time . Currently, it is very unlikely to get HIV through blood transfusions in the United States and in western Europe due to the strict scrutiny applied.