HIV – The Basics

HIV is transmitted by:

  • Unprotected sexual contact (especially anal or vaginal intercourse) with someone who is living with HIV.
  • Direct blood contact (especially by sharing injection drug needles) with someone who is living with HIV.
  • Mother to baby (before or during birth, or through breast milk) if the mother is living with HIV. However, this risk can be greatly reduced if treated properly. Please see the CDC web site for more information.

The best ways to prevent HIV transmission are:

  • Abstinence.
  • Consistent and correct use of latex condoms.
  • Not sharing needles or works (cottons, mixing or snorting equipment).

For more information:

  • About HIV/AIDS, click here.
  • About testing, please see our testing page.
  • Specific to men who have sex with men, see our Gay/Bisexual men section.
  • About condoms; please note, this is not part of the CAP web site.
  • You can also refer to our online resource guide for more information on risks for getting HIV, how to protect yourself, and a list of test sites in Oregon; or call the Oregon AIDS/STD Hotline at 800.777.2437.