How You Become Infected
There is HIV virus in body fluids like vaginal secretions and semen. If those fluids are present, they can enter the bloodstream of someone who doesn’t have HIV through an opening such as a mouth sore or a genital ulcer.
Your chances are higher of getting HIV if you:
How Does Hiv Get Inside The Body In The First Place
It turns out that its relatively difficult for HIV to get inside the body and lock on to those white blood cells. This can only happen during intimate contact between two peopleby which we mean anal sex, vaginal sex, or sharing injection-drug equipment.
HIV cannot pass through a persons skin. This means that you will not become positive by touching bodily fluid that contains HIV, unless you have an open wound where youre touching the fluid. Even if you ingest the viruslets say, by eating food with traces of HIV inside itthe acid inside your stomach will protect you.
HIV almost always enters the body in one of three ways:
- Direct contact with the bloodstream, either through an open wound or with a needle.
- Direct contact with certain mucous membranesspecifically, the soft, permeable tissues inside the rectum, vagina, penis, and mouth.For newborns, exposure is possible during pregnancy, delivery, or shortly after birth by consuming breast milk from an HIV-positive person.
For adults, its important to remember that HIV can only enter the body when its exposed to an open wound, injected directly into the bloodstream, or passed through a mucous membrane, typically through anal or vaginal sex.
In addition, anyone who is pregnant should get an HIV test. If the results come back positive, your doctor can help you stay healthy and prevent your baby from getting HIV.
Myth : Theres A Cure For Hiv
While antiretroviral therapy can substantially reduce the amount of HIV in a persons blood, its not a cure. If an HIV-positive person suddenly stops taking their meds, the amount of virus in their blood can skyrocket.
Even skipping doses of the meds can allow HIV to change form and potentially become resistant to the drugs, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
The key to living well with HIV and avoiding transmission to others is to get treatment as early as possible and take those meds daily as prescribed.
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Can You Get Hiv From Kissing
Let’s start by stating the obvious: kissing is considered among the most ineffective means of transmitting HIV from one person to another, with risk considered anywhere from negligible to non-existent.
To date, there has really been only one, rather dubious case where an HIV-negative woman was said to have infected by her HIV-positive male partner, who reportedly deep kissed her on a regular basis over a two-year period, often with bleeding gums.
What makes the casewhich was reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention back in 1996highly suspect is the fact that the couple also reported condom breakage during the same period, reported that they had used a nonoxynol-9 lubricant , and reported having vaginal sex and oral sex without condoms during the span of their relationship.
While the CDC reported that they suspected HIV transmission was “possibly associated with exposure of mucous membranes to contaminated blood,” they could not exclude vaginal sex, oral sex, or any other possibility.
Beyond this one incident, there has been no documented case wherein kissing alone was identified as the mode of HIV transmission in either a sexual or social situation.
Infectious Diseases In Saliva
Infectious diseases can be spread through several routes of transmission. Oral transmission refers to the spreading of microbes through saliva or shared foods and drinks.
When a person accidentally consumes microbe-contaminated items, such as saliva during kissing, the swallowing action of the tongue wipes the microbes against the back of the throat, allowing the microbe to enter the body.
Infections, such as mononucleosis caused by Epstein-Barr virus , and cytomegalovirus , are examples of infections spread via oral transmission from virus-containing saliva.
Other infectious microbes that spread through saliva do so by sticking to the inner surface of the cheeks and mouth, the tongue, or teeth. An example is the bacterium Streptococcus, which can cause an array of infections, including gum disease and strep throat.
The surfaces of the respiratory tract are continuous and made up of similar tissues. Microbes that are found in the saliva can generally be found in other parts of the respiratory tract, including the nose and throat. Therefore, even colds and flu can be spread through the saliva.
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How Long Can Hiv Survive Outside The Body
Once outside the body, HIV usually cant survive for very long. Coming into contact with blood or semen that has been outside the body doesnt generally pose a risk for HIV transmission.
Similarly, the risk of passing on HIV to someone else if you have a detectable viral load and cut yourself is also very low. Wash away any blood with soap and hot water and cover the wound with a sticking plaster or dressing.
Is There Any Hiv Risk From A Nude Body
If all you had was a massage, with no penetrative intercourse or other high-risk activity, there is absolutely no reason to be concerned about HIV.
Generally, massages involve little or no contact with infectious body fluids. You might come into contact with another person’s semen or vaginal fluids, but you’re unlikely have any contact with blood. It’s worth remembering that saliva, tears, and urine don’t have infectious quantities of HIV.
And it is not enough to simply come into contact with an infected fluid to become infected. Healthy, unbroken skin does not allow HIV to get into the body; it is an excellent barrier to HIV infection. HIV can enter only through an open cut or sore, or through contact with the mucous membranes in the anus and rectum, the vagina, the genitals, the mouth, and the eyes.
So if the massage involved penetrative sex without a condom, an infectious body fluid might have contact with mucus membranes in the genital area. But if it was just massage, there’s no way for an infectious body fluid to enter the bloodstream.
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How Can You Get Hiv
HIV is found in the following bodily fluids of someone living with the virus:
- vaginal fluids
For you to get HIV, these bodily fluids need to get into your blood through a mucous membrane , via shared injecting equipment, or through broken;skin .
There is not enough HIV virus in other bodily fluids, like saliva, sweat or urine, to transmit it from one person to another.
Someone living with HIV who has;an undetectable viral load,;meaning effective treatment has lowered the amount of virus in their blood to levels where it cannot be detected by a normal blood test, cannot pass on HIV.
A person living with HIV with a detectable viral load can;pass the virus to others whether they have symptoms or not.
HIV is most infectious;in the first few weeks after infection.;At this time many;people are unaware of their status.
The main ways you can get HIV are:
Ways That Hiv Is Not Transmitted
HIV is not transmitted by day-to-day activities or by contact with objects, food or clothes.
The following list includes just a few examples of questions we get from people worried about catching HIV.
Most of these questions come from a combination of fear and ignorance. They come from a lack of confidence in understanding HIV transmission.
You can NOT catch HIV from:
- Eating any food, cooked or uncooked, with blood on it.
- From a sterile needle at a clinic or other health centre.
- From a human bite.
- From an insect bite including a mosquito bite.
- From an animal.
- From living in the same house as someone who is HIV positive.
- From a sewing needle if you stab your finger.
- From blood on a bus seat that went through your underwear.
- Cleaning nail clippers.
- Using a knife/fork/spoon/cup/plate that an HIV positive person may have used.
- Getting sexual fluid on skin.
- Getting sexual fluid on a cut that has already healed over. A cut has to be open to be a risk of HIV.
The above are all real examples sent as questions to i-Base. They show that ignorance about HIV is still common.;
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Myth : You Cant Get Hiv If Youre On Birth Control
The pill might protect you from an unwanted pregnancy, but its no match for HIV. Same goes for other types of birth control, like IUDs, patches, and rings.
If you want to get down without risking HIV transmission, your best bet is to use a condom or other barrier method or PrEP.
Nope, swapping spit doesnt spread HIV . Feel free to hold hands, hug, and share a soda while youre at it.
HIV can be transmitted only through:
- anal mucous
- breast milk
Saliva doesnt carry enough traces of the virus to worry about, and research as far back as the mid- to late 80s has found that kissing is not a risk factor for transmission of HIV.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hiv/aids
HIV can be detected in several fluids and tissue of a person living with HIV. It is important to understand however, that finding a small amount of HIV in a body fluid or tissue does not mean that HIV is transmitted by that body fluid or tissue. Only specific fluids from an HIV-infected person can transmit HIV. These specific fluids must come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be directly injected into the blood-stream for transmission to possibly occur.
In the United States, HIV is most commonly transmitted through specific sexual behaviors or sharing needles with an infected person. It is less common for HIV to be transmitted through oral sex or for an HIV-infected woman to pass the virus to her baby before or during childbirth or after birth through breastfeeding or by prechewing food for her infant. In the United States, it is also possible to acquire HIV through exposure to infected blood, transfusions of infected blood, blood products, or organ transplantation, though this risk is extremely remote due to rigorous testing of the U.S. blood supply and donated organs.
For more information, see:;How safe is the blood supply in the United States?
For more information on latex condoms, see “Male Latex Condoms and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.”
In women, the lining of the vagina can sometimes tear and possibly allow HIV to enter the body. HIV can also be directly absorbed through the mucous membranes that line the vagina and cervix.
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Can Hiv Be Spread From Females To Males
Yes. HIV can be spread from male to female, female to male, men who have sex with men , and women who have sex with women. Before we knew a lot about HIV/AIDS, people thought that AIDS spread by gays. Today, we know that this and other misconceptions are not true. Globally, HIV/AIDS is most commonly spread between heterosexuals.
Is There A Risk Of Hiv Transmission When Getting A Tattoo Or A Body Piercing Or While Visiting The Barber Or Hairdresser
Persons who carry out body-piercing and tattoos should follow procedures called “Universal Precautions“, which are designed to protect both workers and their customers from the transmission of blood borne infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B. ;The guidelines state that any instrument designed to penetrate the skin such as tattoo or acupuncture needles should be either used only once and discarded , or should be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized after each use.
When visiting the barber there is no risk of infection unless the skin is cut and if there is a transfer of infected blood. If the instruments are contaminated with infected blood and are not sterilized between clients there is a risk of HIV transmission.
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How Is Hiv Not Passed From One Person To Another
You may have just read the section above and thought to yourself: Wait, that seems like a really short list of ways HIV gets transmitted. What about mosquitoes? Blowjobs? Kissing? Sharing food or utensils?
As weve previously discussed in this guide, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about HIV transmission. At some point, people without HIV may worry they have been exposed to the virus. And when people get freaked out about their health, they tend to start scouring the internet for answers.
At TheBody, weve spent the past 25 years fielding questions about HIV exposure fears and talking with experts about the realities of HIV risk. So we know an awful lot about the HIV transmission concerns people tend to have in common.
These are the top five recurring fears about HIV transmission that are way, way more than theyre cracked up to be:
- oral sex
Lets break each of these down in more detail.
Viral Load & Medications
If someone has HIV, this does not mean that they are restricted to celibacy. Many people with HIV still continue to have safe, enjoyable sex lives without spreading the virus. Always using a condom or barrier method is an important first step to prevent the sharing of HIV containing fluids.
Antiretroviral therapy : Another way to help decrease the risk of spreading HIV is to lower a personâs viral loadâthe amount of HIV in a personâs blood. Viral loads can be lowered using medications called antiretroviral therapy . These medications can lower the HIV viral load so much that HIV may not even be detectable on a blood testâthis is called an undetectable viral load . When a person’s viral load in undetectable, they have effectively no risk of transmitting the HIV virus to a non-infected partner . Taking these medication will help keep a person with HIV healthy while also helping prevent the spread of HIV to another person. This is not a cure, however. If medication is taken incorrectly or stopped, HIV viral loads will increase again and transmission can occur. Condoms and other barrier methods should still always be used during sex .
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Can A Man Give Himself Hiv/aids Or Another Sexually Transmitted Infection By Masturbating
The best answer to this question came years ago from one of our longtime experts, the highly respected HIV physician Robert Frascino, M.D.:
“No, there is absolutely no chance you can contract a sexually transmitted illness from yourself!
“STIs involve germs that spread from an infected person to another person via sexual activity. Masturbation, choking the chicken, spanking the monkey, or whatever you want to call it, involves only you and your hand. Some folks may refer to their hand as Mrs. Palm and her five daughters, but really we are only talking about one person here. And that’s you, right?!
“A person cannot give himself a disease he doesn’t already have. Just as you can’t give yourself a million dollars , you can’t give yourself HIV, because you don’t have that either.
“The bottom line is that your jizz is perfectly safe, so no worries unless you spunk up your parents’ furniture. And even those kinds of stains, although they can lead to problems, they can not lead to STIs, OK?”
How Do You Get Or Transmit Hiv
You can only get HIV by coming into direct contact with certain body fluids from a person with HIV who has a detectable viral load. These fluids are:
- Semen and pre-seminal fluid
- Rectal fluids
- Vaginal fluids
- Breast milk
For transmission to occur, the HIV in these fluids must get into the bloodstream of an HIV-negative person through a mucous membrane ; open cuts or sores; or by direct injection.
People with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners.
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What Are The Chances Of Becoming Infected With Hiv If My Partner Doesn’t Come Inside Me
Whilst research suggests that high concentrations of HIV can sometimes be detected in pre cum, it is difficult to judge whether HIV is present in sufficient quantities for infection to occur. To guard against the possibility of infection with HIV or any other STI it is best to practice safer sex – sex with a condom from start to finish.
Infectious Diseases From Mouth Sores
Certain infections causing ulcerations in the mouth can also be spread through kissing. These include cold sores;and;hand, foot, and mouth disease.
Cold sores are caused by the;herpes;virus, usually;herpes simplex virus-1 . While related, this is different from herpes simplex virus-2 , which is more generally associated with genital herpes.
In contrast to infections spread through the saliva, HSV-1 is spread through open cold sores on the lips or near the mouth. Although the infection is contagious through all stages of a cold sore, the infection is most contagious when the sore is open and leaking fluid.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease, caused by the Coxsackievirus, is another infectious disease that is spread through open sores in the mouth. This is a type of enterovirus, which is a common infection that has multiple strains that we all often are exposed to. This particular infection is common in kids, especially those in daycare or preschool settings.
It spreads by breathing the air after the sick person coughs or sneezes, touching or close contact such as kissing or sharing utensils and cups, through touching a sick person’s feces such as when changing a diaper, or from touching the eyes, nose, or mouth after contact with surfaces that have been contaminated such as doorknobs or toys.
In contrast to cold sores and coxsackievirus blisters, canker sores have no infectious disease origin and cannot be spread through;saliva or kissing.
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