How is HIV infection transmitted?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Delia M Rivera, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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HIV can be transmitted vertically, sexually, or via contaminated blood products or IV drug abuse. Vertical HIV infection occurs before birth, during delivery, or after birth. With infection before birth (period 1), the fetus can be hematologically infected by means of transmission across the placenta or across the amniotic membranes, especially if the membranes are inflamed or infected.

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