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No, You Can’t Get HIV From a Drinking Straw
Can I get HIV from sharing a beverage or a drinking straw?
HIV is transmitted through sex (anal, vaginal and oral), blood transfusion, contaminated needles (intravenous drug use), childbirth, breastfeeding and exposure of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with another infected bodily fluid such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate or breast milk. So, no. You can, however, get a cold, the flu or mono by sharing a drink, so we suggest you still refrain. To be clear, HIV is not transmitted through touch, tears, sweat or saliva.
What about a toilet seat? Door knobs? Makeup?
No. HIV is not transmitted through casual contact (i.e. toilet seats, door knobs, handshakes, etc.). You already know that saliva is not a transmitter, so sharing a fork or lipgloss isn’t going to give you the virus. Use common sense though, ladies—there are a host of nasty things you can get by swapping spit with anyone.
Can mosquitoes transmit HIV?
Mosquitoes are known to carry a range of scary viruses such as West Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever, but there have been no known cases of mosquitoes transmitting HIV.
I’m straight and I don’t use intravenous drugs. I won’t contract HIV.
Well, perhaps—but sexual preference and drug use (or lack thereof) do not determine your risk. Anyone can contract HIV regardless of age, gender, race or sexual preference. Just because you’re a belonephobic heterosexual doesn’t guarantee that you’re safe from HIV. (Bonus vocab lesson! You guessed it, belonephobia is the fear of needles.) Follow these simple rules: Hugs, not drugs. No glove, no love.
We know that asking if your partner (or potential partner) has been tested for HIV/AIDS may ruin the mood, but do you know what else is a buzz kill? Unfavorable test results. So woman up! Take responsibility for your sexual health—no one else is going to do it for you. Get tested. Protect yourself. Learn the facts and pass them on.