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HIV is spread by sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal and sometimes even oral sex. It’s most commonly caught by having sex without a condom.

It can also be spread by sharing needles, receiving surgical treatment in countries where sterilisation standards are low, and sometimes a mother can pass the virus onto her baby during the birth process or by breast feeding.

For more information on HIV, including how to avoid it, symptoms, testing and treatment, please see our HIV pages.