Swimming, drinking tea and french kissing

Some ways you cannot pass on your HIV.
Some things you don't have to worry about.

There is no way that you can pass on your HIV to others in a swimming pool, by sharing a cup or by French kissingzwemmen someone. You don’t need to worry about anything in your day-to-day contact with others. To pass on HIV, a certain amount of virus needs to be present. You cannot pass on HIV via saliva (spit), sweat, snot or tears, since none of those contain enough of the virus.

In other words, you don’t need to take any special precautions at home, at school, at work or wherever else you might be.

That means there is absolutely no reason for anyone in your social environment to get tested for HIV. They will only need to do that if they have had unsafe sexual contact with you (or with anyone else). You can only pass on HIV through having unsafe sexual contacts (see page 65), sharing hypodermic needles and giving birth to or breastfeeding a child.

What are some of the ways you cannot pass on yout HIV? All these things you don't have to worry about doing: 

  • Not by kissing or French kissing
    Your saliva (spit) contains much too little of the virus to infect someone.
  • Not by sneezing, coughing or having a runny nose
    Your sneeze, phlegm and snot contain much too little of the virus to infect someone.
  • Not by holding someone’s hand, massaging someone or being massaged
    HIV cannot penetrate undamaged skin. Also when you have a scrape or a wound with a scab, there is nothing to worry about. Even if you both had an open wound, the risk would still be very tiny. Blood flows out from a wound – precisely in order to prevent infections from occurring. So it is really not very easy for HIV to enter someone’s body through a wound.
  • Not by sharing a toilet, a teacup, dishes, cutlery or linens
    The virus cannot survive in the open air.
  • Not by going to the dentist, or by giving or receiving first aid
    The standard measures that a dentist or medic takes for hygiene are good enough. That means that whoever has an appointment with the dentist after you runs no risk either.
  • Not by insects
  • Not by sharing food or drinking out of the same glass
    That means you can feel free to share a cupcake with a friend!
  • Not by swimming in a pool
  • Not by taking a bath together
  • Not by being in a sauna or steam room.

In short: there is so much you can still do!


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For questions about living with HIV. Available monday, tuesday and thursday from 2 PM till 10 PM

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