Definition of HIV

'Human immunodeficiency virus'
A virus which gradually damages people's immune systems and leads to the onset of AIDS.

Definition of AIDS

'Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome'
Immune deficiency, which occurs as a result of the destruction of the immune system caused by HIV. Various combined symptoms, usually severe infections and tumours, can no longer be overcome by the body and lead to death of the sufferer.

Pregnant and Positive - The Film

Pregnant and Positive - The Film


HIV is transmitted via the bodily fluids blood, sperm, vaginal secretion and breast milk.

The most common ways of infection:

  • Sex (vaginal and anal intercourse) without the use of condoms
  • Oral intercourse with the reception of sperm or menstrual blood
  • Repeated use of needles
  • Born and breastfed by infected mothers

Further possible ways of infection:

  • Blood transfusions (very rare in Germany due to routine monitoring of blood donors since 1985)
  • Passive oral intercourse as well as the reception of vaginal fluid (without menstrual blood)

No danger of infection:

  • Kissing, touching and hugging
  • Tears, sweat and saliva
  • Airborne infections (e.g. sneezing or coughing)
  • Toilet seats, swimming pools, taps, showers
  • Mutual use of crockery or bedding
  • Food prepared by someone infected with HIV
  • Mosquito bites

(Sources: Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, BZgA, Schulungsmappe Abbott Virologie)

Direct aid

In order to receive help quickly, please find a network partner close to your town. To do so, simply enter your zip code or town into the search field and click 'Search'.

More information on our direct aid measures can be found here: