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Frequently "Un-Asked" Questions on World AIDS Day 2021

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

On this 33rd World AIDS Day IAWH is approaching things a little differently. This year’s theme is Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice.

Instead of a regular blog or a historical retrospective on how far medical research has come in developing treatments for HIV and a cure for AIDS, we are providing you with a set of frequently un-asked questions about women's health and HIV. These are questions that you might be too shy or embarrassed to ask your health care provider or your friends and family. Each answer provided below is evidence-based and we provide you with links for further exploration and learning.

1. Can I contract HIV from a doorknob, urine or blood on a toilet seat, or any other public/shared surface?


HIV can be transmitted through a number of bodily fluids, including:

  • blood

  • semen

  • pre-ejaculate (or pre-cum)

  • rectal fluids

  • vaginal secretions

  • breast milk

Although HIV can be transmitted via bodily fluids, the virus must enter directly into your bloodstream for infection to occur. So even if there is urine, blood, or other bodily fluids on a surface that you touch, there is almost a negligible chance of transmission. Learn more about HIV transmission from Healthline.

2. What is considered “at - risk” behavior for transmitting or contracting HIV?