Drug Facts Chat Day: HIV/AIDS & Drug Use

How could you get HIV/AIDS from using drugs?

The best known way to get HIV is the sharing of needles and other injection equipment such as cotton swabs, rinse water, and cookers. However, another way people may be at risk for HIV is simply by using drugs--regardless of whether a needle and syringe are involved--because drug use can disrupt the ability to make good decisions. This can lead people to engage in risky sexual (and other) behaviors that put them and others in danger of contracting or transmitting HIV.

More information on the linkages between drug use and HIV can be found at https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/hivaids.

Can a baby be born with HIV if the father has it, but not the mother?

No, the virus cannot be given to an unborn baby by the father directly. HIV can be transmitted to a baby from the mother while in the womb, during delivery, or while breastfeeding. However, it should be noted that even if the mom has HIV, there are medications to prevent transmission to the child.

I once saw on a show that if a person kisses someone on the cheek or hugs a person with HIV, they can get the virus from them. Is that true?

No. In order for HIV to be transmitted there needs to be the exchange of bodily fluid (e.g., blood, saliva). It is not possible to spread HIV through casual contact like hugging or kissing on the cheek, as long as bodily fluids are not shared.

For more information on HIV, visit https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/hivaids.