How Is Hiv Spread From Person To Person
HIV can only be spread through specific activities. In the United States, the most common ways are:
- Having vaginal or anal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV. Anal sex is riskier than vaginal sex.
- Sharing injection drug equipment , such as needles, with someone who has HIV.
Less common ways are:
- From mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. However, the use of HIV medicines and other strategies have helped lower the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to 1% or less in the United States.
- Getting stuck with an HIV-contaminated needle or other sharp object. This is a risk mainly for health care workers. The risk is very low.
HIV is spread only in extremely rare cases by:
- Having oral sex. But in general, the chance that an HIV-negative person will get HIV from oral sex with an HIV-positive partner is extremely low.
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.
What Are The Other Possible Side Effects Of Truvada For Prep
Serious side effects of TRUVADA may also include:
- Kidneyproblems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys before and during treatment with TRUVADA. If you develop kidney problems, your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking TRUVADA.
- Too much lactic acid in your blood , which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat.
- Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain.
- Bone problems, including bone pain, softening, or thinning, which may lead to fractures. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your bones.
Common side effects in people taking TRUVADA for PrEP are headache, stomach-area pain, and decreased weight. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.
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How To Be Safe When Coming Into Contact With Infected Blood
A condom will act as a barrier against any contact with blood during sex.
As well as sex, sharing equipment for injecting drugs is a way blood can get into someones body. This can be avoided by using fresh needles and not sharing needles, syringes and other equipment.
If a woman has HIV, her menstrual blood also carries a risk of transmission if she has a detectable viral load.
If youre HIV negative and taking pre-exposure prophylaxis youll be protected against getting HIV if you come into contact with infectious blood.
Hiv And Getting Pregnant
If you are HIV-positive and become pregnant, or would like to have a baby, it is strongly recommended that you talk to specialists.
If you live in Victoria, The Victorian HIV Service at the Alfred Hospital and the Chronic Viral Illness Clinic at the Royal Womens Hospital can provide you with more information.
At the Chronic Viral Illness Clinic at the Royal Womens Hospital you can discuss your options with doctors who specialise in HIV and reproductive health.
This clinic specialises in helping serodiscordant couples to conceive safely.
Timing of sex to coincide with ovulation can be discussed with a healthcare provider to increase your chances of getting pregnant while reducing the risk of passing on the virus.
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When Is The Risk Greater
These risk factors can increase the chances for transmission of HIV:
- Status: Risk varies based on whether the person with HIV is giving or receiving oral sex. If the person with HIV is receiving oral sex, the person giving it may have a higher risk. Mouths may have more openings in the skin or lesions. Saliva, on the other hand, is not a carrier of the virus.
- Viral load: The risk of contracting HIV is higher if the person with HIV has a high viral load. Higher viral loads increase infectivity.
- Ejaculation: During oral sex, ejaculation may increase risk for sharing the virus, but ejaculation alone isnt the only possible way of contracting HIV.
- Cuts or sores: Openings in the mouth, vagina, anus, or on the penis are possible routes for HIV. These may be cuts or lesions from another infection or condition. For example, HIV-related infections like candidiasis can cause sores that compromise the integrity of the tissue in the mouth. Any break in the skin puts a person at risk for transmitting or contracting the virus.
- Menstruation: HIV-bearing cells do shed from the cervix during menstruation. Coming into contact with menstrual blood with the mouth may increase contraction risk.
- Urethritis: This condition causes inflammation and irritation in the urethra. It may increase the chances of HIV contraction, too. People with HIV are likely to shed the virus when they have this condition.
Its Easy To Tell The Symptoms Of Hiv
The symptoms of HIV can differ from person-to-person and some people may not get any symptoms at all. Without treatment, the virus will get worse over time and damage your immune system over time. There are three stages of HIV infection with different possible effects.
Also, you also cant tell by looking at someone whether they have HIV or not. Many people don’t show signs of any symptoms. And, for people living with HIV who are on effective treatment, they are just as likely to be as healthy as everyone else.
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Hiv: How Its Transmitted
HIV is spread through certain body fluids, such as blood, semen , rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services AIDS.gov website. The virus can be transmitted when these fluids in an infected person come into contact with mucous membranes in the rectum, vagina, penis, or mouth of another person.
While HIV can be spread during anal or vaginal sex, anal sex is riskier because there is more trauma and irritation to the mucous membranes, says Beverly Sha, MD, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Although the risk is low, HIV can also be spread through oral sex. HIV transmission can happen during ejaculation into the mouth, or if there are mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, genital sores, or other sexually transmitted diseases present, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Using condoms during sex lowers the risk of HIV transmission. When they are used properly, its clear they offer significant protection, Dr. Sha says. However, condoms can fail when they break, if theyre too old, or if they are not used correctly.
The virus can also spread if infected fluids come into contact with damaged tissue, such as a cut in the skin, or if infected blood is transferred from a needle or syringe. Doing injection drugs with someone who is infected and sharing equipment is high risk. HIV can be found in a used needle for as long as 42 days.
Do I Still Need To Use Condoms If Im Undetectable
HIV medicines only prevents HIV transmissionthey dont prevent other sexually transmitted infections , either from you to others, or others to you. Condoms are still very useful, especially if youre having sex with multiple partners or in situations when you dont know if your partner could have a detectable HIV viral load or might have an STI. I do recommend that people strongly consider using condomsbut its often for the other STIs or due to an unknown HIV status of their partners.
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Does U=u Apply To The Non
This page is about HIV transmission during sex.
But an undetectable viral load is also crucial for conception, pregnancy and birth. If you maintain an undetectable viral load during pregnancy, the risk of HIV being passed on to your baby is just 0.1%, or one in a thousand.
During breastfeeding, an undetectable viral load greatly reduces the risk of passing HIV on, although it does not completely eliminate this possibility. In the UK and other countries where clean water and sterilising equipment are available, bottle feeding with formula milk is the safest way to feed your baby.
If you use injection drugs and or other equipment, taking HIV treatment and having an undetectable viral load greatly reduces the risk of passing HIV on, but we dont know by how much.
Surveillance Of Hiv And Aids
HIV and AIDS are both notifiable diseases. The national notification system is voluntary and receives cases reported through provincial or territorial departments of health.
Provinces and territories have provincial or territorial legislation for the reporting of priority infectious diseases within their jurisdictions. All provinces and territories report newly diagnosed cases of HIV to the federal department. However, not all provinces and territories have mandatory reporting of AIDS.
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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.
If Suppressed With Meds Hiv Unlikely To Spread
The Public Health Agency of Canada pulled together studies from the last decade looking at the risk of HIV transmission among partners where one person is HIV-positive and one is not.
It found there were no cases of transmission when the HIV-positive partner was on drug “cocktails” that were keeping the virus suppressed. “Suppressed” means there are fewer than 200 copies of the virus per milliliter of blood.
In those cases, the review found, there were no HIV transmissions even when couples did not use condoms.
Experts said the findings are good news for people living with HIV — and have implications for current laws in Canada, the United States and elsewhere.
At issue are laws that subject HIV-positive people to possible criminal prosecution for not telling their sexual partners about their status. They exist in Canada and many U.S. states.
But the laws are “rooted in the 1980s view of the disease,” said Perry Halkitis, dean of the School of Public Health at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J.
That is, they reflect an era when HIV was a death sentence instead of the manageable chronic condition it is today. Drug therapies that first became available in the 1990s changed the face of HIV treatment.
That means they are unfairly targeted by criminal laws, the CHLP says.
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Managing Illness As A Parent
Although medical advances now allow people with HIV to live full, healthy lives, you may have times where you or your partner is unwell or needs medical care.
As with any longer-term illness, this can impact on your ability to earn an income, manage a household or raise children.
Living with chronic illness can be a challenge and sometimes families need extra support. Trying to sort things out on your own can make life seem overwhelming. Dont be afraid to ask for help from expert organisations that support people with HIV.
Adherence And Dealing With Side
- Antiretroviral treatment reduces the level of HIV in your blood so that it cannot damage your immune system.
- If you do not take your medication correctly , the level of HIV in your blood may increase and the treatment may stop working. This is known as developing drug resistance.
- Regular blood tests will show if your treatment is working by measuring the level of HIV in your blood and the strength of your immune system .
- If you have side effects that do not go away or your treatment stops working, your healthcare professional can advise you to change to a different combination of antiretroviral drugs.
Once you start taking HIV treatment, its important that you take it every day. Your healthcare professional will explain how many pills to take, how often to take them, and whether you should take them with food.
It is your right to choose whether to take HIV treatment, when to start and whether to stop, but you should never simply stop taking your treatment. If you have any problems, questions or concerns about your treatment or health, talk to your healthcare professional and they will be able to help you make an informed decision.
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British Hiv Association Advice
The ‘Undetectable equals Untransmittable’ campaign is supported by the British HIV Association , which is the professional association for doctors and other healthcare professionals working in HIV in the UK.
BHIVA says consistent use of HIV treatment to maintain an undetectable viral load is a highly effective way to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV.
BHIVA says healthcare professionals should share this information with all people living with HIV. It advises healthcare professionals to explain the scientific evidence behind U=U, emphasising the importance of excellent adherence to HIV treatment and highlighting that U=U is dependent on maintaining a sustained undetectable viral load.
What Are The Odds Of Getting Hiv From A One
Let’s start by scrubbing the “one night stand” bit from the question. In terms of HIV, it’s completely irrelevant whether sex took place as a one-off or in a 10-year relationship, with a sex worker or in a marital bed, with someone you love or with someone you regret ever meeting.
But there is a reasonable question to be asked about the odds of getting HIV during a single sexual act.
To answer it, the most important things to know are:
- Is the person you’re having sex with living with HIV?
- If they’re living with HIV, are they on HIV treatment, and is their viral load undetectable?
- Are you taking pre-exposure prophylaxis ?
- Did you use a male or female condom?
If the person is living with HIV, their viral load is detectable, you’re not on PrEP, and you didn’t use a condom, then the risk of sex depends on kind of sex we are talking about. Let’s limit this discussion to penetrative vaginal or anal sex.
For vaginal sex or for anal sex as the insertive partner, the odds may be about one in 1,000. For anal sex as the receptive partner , the odds may be about one in 100.
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If My Viral Load Is Undetectable Can I Transmit Hiv To Other People
Im very happy to say that we know the answer to this. If you are undetectable, and have been on HIV medications for at least six months, and you continue that treatment, the risk of transmitting HIV is effectively zero.
This finding has been well-established over the last six to seven years . After studying thousands of couples, over many years, research has shown that if an HIV-positive person is on effective HIV medications for at least six months, is undetectable, and stays on their HIV medications, they will not transmit HIV to other people.
Does Hiv Viral Load Affect Getting Or Transmitting Hiv
Yes. Viral load is the amount of HIV in the blood of someone who has HIV. Taking HIV medicine daily as prescribed can make the viral load very lowso low that a test cant detect it .
People with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.
HIV medicine is a powerful tool for preventing sexual transmission of HIV. But it works only as long as the HIV-positive partner gets and keeps an undetectable viral load. Not everyone taking HIV medicine has an undetectable viral load. To stay undetectable, people with HIV must take HIV medicine every day as prescribed and visit their healthcare provider regularly to get a viral load test. Learn more.
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Does Contraception Increase Womens Risk Of Hiv
Observational research studies in the past had suggested a possible increased risk of HIV for women using progestogen-only injectable contraception, such as DMPA intra-muscular injection, also known as Depo-Provera. A recent large study with a more reliable methodology, conducted in four African countries, however found no significant difference in risk of HIV infection among women using hormonal or non-hormonal long-acting reversible contraceptive methods .