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Someone in my community has HIV. Can I get HIV from being in a sweatlodge with them? It's a long ceremony and everyone sweats a lot.

The two main ways that HIV is transmitted are through sex or sharing needles or other injection equipment.  Sweat is not one of the fluids that can transmit HIV.  You are not at risk for HIV or other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) by attending a sweatlodge with other people.

Traditional ceremonies have been a part of Indigenous societies for thousands of years and are often helpful to many people who are HIV positive or negative.  Feel free to attend sweatlodges, give handshakes, hugs, kisses or share meals and clothes with your HIV positive community members.  It’s also important to treat everyone equally regardless of their HIV status, and keep in mind that many people aren’t even aware of their status.

Even at other healing ceremonies where blood may be present, we can prevent transmission of STBBIs by following Routine Practices at Indigenous Ceremonies.