ifIknew is a health initiative for young adults that uses a multi media approach, including social media and in person programs, to address the contemporary issues that impact the well-being, self-image, careers, and relationships of people in their 20's and 30's.

If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

Q&A: Can you get HIV by kissing someone with a cut in his or her mouth?

It’s possible, but extremely rare. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is spread primarily through unprotected sex or sharing needles with a person who already has HIV.

Generally speaking, kissing is a safe behavior. You cannot get HIV from closed-mouth kissing and there are no known cases of someone getting infected through saliva alone. Although the saliva of an infected person can contain trace amounts of HIV, it will not transmit the virus.  As one of our speakers says, “It would take a person drinking a bathtub of saliva to run the risk.”

However, with deep “French” kissing, there is a remote risk of HIV infection if there are open sores or blood in the mouth and if one of the people has HIV. The blood from the infected person needs a way to get into the other person’s bloodstream, such as a cut or open sore. So that means you should abstain from “French”  kissing  with someone who has any open sores, cuts or blood in his or her mouth, unless you know for sure that the person does not have HIV.  (Do you really want to kiss someone with blood in their mouth, anyway?)

Remember, you cannot tell by looking at people whether or not they have HIV. It is people just like you and me, who look like you and me, who carry the virus.

For more information about HIV transmission and how to protect yourself, click here.