HIV/AIDS

Updated 24 June 2014

In which body fluids does HIV occur?

HIV has been identified in various body fluids but it is especially highly concentrated in blood, sexual fluids (semen and vaginal fluids), and in breast milk.

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HIV has been identified in various body fluids but it is especially highly concentrated in blood, sexual fluids (semen and vaginal fluids), and in breast milk.

Although HIV is present in saliva, tears, sweat and urine, the concentration of the virus in these fluids is very low, and transmission is unlikely.

Note: saliva containing blood (e.g. in dental contexts, or when there are open sores, thrush, or loose teeth in the mouth) can transmit the virus.

 

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HIV/Aids expert

Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

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