In the United States, sexual contact is the most common route of HIV transmission. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 70 percent of the estimated number of new HIV infections in 2014, were among men who have sex with other men (MSM). The term “MSM “is important because many men who have sex with men do not necessarily identify themselves as gay or bisexual. HIV transmitted through sexual activity among heterosexuals accounted for nearly 23 percent of new infections; most of these cases were among women who contracted the virus from men. People who inject drugs accounted for 7 percent of new infections, though about 40 percent of those were MSM, so it isn’t possible to know for sure whether those men contracted HIV by sharing injection equipment or through sex. ( Sex with HIV )
According to data from UNAIDS, MSM accounted for 12 percent of new infections globally in 2015. Sex workers accounted for 5 percent of new infections; people who inject drugs accounted for 8 percent of new infections.
The reason why sexual activity is a risk for HIV transmission is because it allows for the exchange of body fluids. Researchers have consistently found that HIV can be transmitted via blood, semen and vaginal secretions. It is also true that HIV has been detected in saliva, tears and urine. However, HIV in these fluids is found only in extremely low concentrations. What’s more, there hasn’t been a single case of HIV transmission through these fluids reported to the CDC.
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