How Viral Load Affects Transmission
For people who have HIV, your viral load is the amount of the virus that can be found in your blood.
“Once a virus enters your body, it uses your cells to reproduce. When it reproduces you get a high amount of the virus in your body. The viral load is how you describe the amount of virus you have in your body. The higher your viral load is, the more infectious you are,” Safo says.
Your viral load is at its highest at the beginning and end-stage of the virus. During these times, you are highly infectious and can easily transmit the virus to another person.
HIV medication is designed to lower your viral load to levels by which it becomes difficult to transmit. In some cases, your load might become so low while on medication that a test won’t be able to detect the virus.
If your viral load is undetectable then you can’t transmit the virus to another person. However, not everyone on HIV medication can achieve or maintain undetectable viral loads, which is why it’s advisable to continue to practice safe sex.
Aids Phobia And Conspiracy Theorists
With that being said, there are people who still fear that infection is possible from the unlikely sources, including touching, mosquitos, shared grooming products, and, kissing. AIDS phobia, the paralyzing and unreasonable fear of HIV, plays a huge part in these beliefs. At other times, a person may prescribe to contrarian view about HIV or are simply misinformed about HIV in general.
For these individuals, counseling with a qualified professional may be needed as well as psychotherapy for those experiencing extreme anxiety or depression. Additionally, if the person is at risk of acquiring HIV or in a mixed-status relationship, doctors may want to consider prescribing HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis , a once-daily pill that can reduce the risk of HIV by more than 90%.
HIV Doctor Discussion Guide
How Hiv Is Spread
The most common way that HIV is spread is through sexual intercourse, including oral and anal sex.
The virus can also be spread through sharing needles, and it can be passed from an infected pregnant woman to her unborn baby.
But steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of HIV being passed on to a baby, making transmission in this way rare in the UK.
For example, the risk of transmission can be reduced by:
- giving antiretroviral medicine to a mother and her newborn baby
- giving birth by caesarean section
- not breastfeeding
You cannot catch HIV from:
- giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
- being sneezed on by someone with HIV
- sharing baths, towels or cutlery with someone with HIV
- swimming in a pool that’s been used by someone with HIV
- sitting on a toilet seat that someone with HIV has sat on
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Deep Kissing And Hiv Transmission
I just read this article which quotes Luc Montaigner:
Deep kissing and HIV transmission
Contrary to some studies, renowned French researcher and scientist, Prof. Luc Montaigner, who discovered that AIDS is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus , has revealed that HIV can be transmitted through kissing. Speaking at an AIDS workshop at Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Aug. 29, Montaigner said while many scholars ignore the risk involved with kissing, research has proved that deep kissing leads to contamination. “Deep kissing where there is exchange of saliva leads to Aids,” Montaigner told Aids researchers and journalists. He explained that salivary glands contain viral components and can transmit these components to a partner during the kissing process. He said it is worse if one’s partner has mouth ulcers or wounds. Montaigner is president of the World Foundation for Aids Research and Prevention, director of research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientific in Paris and head of the Viral Onchology Unit at the Virology department at Institut Pasteur, where he also head. From The Monitor August 30, 2000. http://allafrica.com/stories/200008300010.htmls the AIDS-
Okay, I am thoroughly confused now. Has Deep Kissing now become a higher risk activity? Also, Mr. Montaigner specifically states, “research has proved that deep kissing leads to contamination.” Did I blink and miss some critical study results?
How Safe Is Oral Sex
Although it is possible to become infected with HIV through oral sex, the risk of becoming infected in this way is much lower than the risk of infection via unprotected sexual intercourse with a man or woman.When giving oral sex to a man a person could become infected with HIV if infected semen came into contact with damaged and receding gums, or any cuts or sores they might have in their mouth.
Giving oral sex to a woman is also considered relatively low risk. Transmission could take place if infected sexual fluids from a woman got into the mouth of her partner. The likelihood of infection might be increased if there is menstrual blood involved or if the woman is infected with another sexually transmitted disease.
The likelihood of either a man or a woman becoming infected with HIV as a result of receiving oral sex is extremely low, as saliva does not contain infectious quantities of HIV.
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Resistant Stis And Stds
The spread of STIs increases every year. Medical professionals have concerns that this spike is not only related to an increase in sexual activity but also increased bacterial resistance to the medications used to treat STIs. Kissing as a method of transmitting or contracting gonorrhea further complicates these concerns.
How To Talk To Your Partner
STDs can be a tricky, uncomfortable subject to talk about. Here are some tips for having a mature, productive discussion with your partner:
- Set your expectations upfront. If you want your partner, whether new or longtime, to use barrier methods, tell them and be firm about it. Its your body, and your partner has no right to tell you how to have sex.
- Be direct, open, and honest. If youre uncomfortable with having sex without first getting tested or using barrier methods, be clear about this and set the boundaries before you engage in any sexual activity. If you have an STI, let them know before having sex.
- Use barrier methods. Condoms, dental dams, and other protective barriers not only have a high chance of preventing pregnancy but also shielding you against almost all STIs.
- Above all, be understanding. Dont get mad at your partner or yourself if you find out that either of you has an STI. Not all of them are spread through sex alone, so dont assume that theyve cheated on you or kept a secret from you. Some people dont find out they have STIs until years later because of a lack of symptoms, so its important to trust your partner.
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Can Kissing An Hiv Positive Person Cause An Hiv Infection
No, a person cannot spread HIV through kissing. Although HIV can be present in very small amounts in saliva, there are proteins and enzymes found naturally in saliva which reduce the infectiousness of HIV, making it impossible for the virus to spread through kissing.
HIV can only survive in certain body fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, anal mucous and breast milk – HIV spreads through the exchange of these bodily fluids. Sexual intercourse, including oral and anal sex, without the use of a condom is the most common way that HIV spreads. HIV can also spread by sharing needles with someone who is infected with the virus, and very rarely it can be passed from an HIV positive pregnant woman to her unborn baby.
If you think you may have been exposed to HIV in the last three days, you should contact our local sexual health clinic immediately to get PEP, that can prevent infection even after exposure, if taken within 72 hours. If you believe the exposure might have happened earlier, make sure to consider the window period before taking an HIV test.
Is There Risk Of Hiv Transmission When Having A Tattoo Body Piercing Or Getting A Hair Cut Or Shave
There is a risk of HIV transmission if instruments contaminated with blood are not sterilized between clients. However, people who carry out body piercing or tattooing should follow procedures called ‘universal precautions’, which are designed to prevent the transmission of blood borne infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B.
When having a hair cut there is no risk of infection unless the skin is cut and infected blood gets into the wound. Traditional ‘cut-throat’ razors used by barbers now have disposable blades, which should only be used once, thus eliminating the risk from blood-borne infections such as Hepatitis and HIV.
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Stds That Are Less Likely To Spread Through Kissing
Syphilis: This is a bacterial infection that can be spread by having sex. It isnt usually spread by kissing unless you and your partner both have syphilis sores present in your mouth when you kiss.
Herpes simplex virus 2 : This is a virus that spreads easily in body fluids. HSV-2 can cause painful blisters in your genital area, but it rarely affects your mouth. This means its less likely than HSV-1 to spread through kissing.
How Does This Affect Safe Sex Practices
As we learn more about kissing as a means of spreading gonorrhea, we might find that standard safe sex practices alone dont adequately protect sexual partners from spreading or contracting gonorrhea. People who have multiple sexual partners might consider not exchanging saliva when kissing and to use protection when having oral sex.
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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.
Stds That Are Not Spread By Kissing
The National Health Service, UK, points out that common STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea cant be transmitted through kissing. Instead, these diseases are usually passed on through unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex. The risky move of sharing sex toys can also do the trick. Lastly, an expectant mother can pass these STDs on to her baby.1819
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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.
Myth : Hiv Can Be Transmitted Through Oral Sex
OK, theres a teensy bit of truth behind this myth, but the chances of getting HIV by going down on someone are so low that the risk almost doesnt exist.
According to a 2013 research review, the risk of transmitting HIV through oral sex without a condom or other barrier method is about 0.04 percent.
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If I Get Infected Fluid From An Hiv
No, HIV is not always passed on from someone living with HIV. There are lots of reasons why this is the case. For example, if the HIV-positive person is on effective treatment it will reduce the amount of HIV in their body. If a doctor confirms that the virus has reached undetectable levels it means there is no risk of passing it on.
If youre concerned that youve been exposed to HIV you may be eligible to take post-exposure prophylaxis , which stops the virus from becoming an infection. However its not available everywhere and has to be taken within 72 hours of possible exposure to be effective.
Its really important to take a HIV test every time you think you have been at risk of HIV.
Prevention Of Infection While Kissing
There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of passing on, or catching, an infection while kissing. You should try to:
- Avoid kissing when you or the other person is sick.
- Avoid kissing anyone on the lips when you, or they, have an active cold sore, warts or ulcers around the lips or in the mouth.
- Maintain good oral hygiene.
- Cough and sneeze into a hanky if you have a cold.
- See your doctor about immunisations. Vaccines are available to prevent some infectious diseases, such as chickenpox, hepatitis B and group C meningococcal infection.
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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.
Conditions Needed To Transmit Hiv
As serious an infection as HIV is, the virus itself is not all that robust. Others, like the flu and cold viruses, are far more sturdy and can be passed from one person to next by sneezing. HIV cannot. Instead, there four conditions that must take place in order for infection to occur:
- There must be body fluids in which HIV can thrive. For HIV, this meanssemen, blood, vaginal fluids, or breast milk. HIV cannot survive for very long in the open air or in parts of the body where is high acid content .
- There must be a way for body fluids to enter the body. This happens primarily through sexual contact but can also be spread through , accidental blood exposure in healthcare settings, or transmission of the virus from mother to child during pregnancy.
- The virus must be able to reach vulnerable cells inside the body. Skin contact with a body fluid is not enough.It needs to enter the bloodstream through a break in the skin or penetrate vulnerable mucosal tissues of the vagina or rectum. The depth and size of the penetration also matter, with a deep cut being riskier than a scrape.
- There must be sufficient amounts of virus in the body fluid. This is why saliva, sweat, and tears are unlikely sources of infection since the enzymes in these fluids actively break down HIV and its genetic structure.
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Doubts Persist Even When Risk Is Statistically Zero
Despite increased public awareness about HIV, there remains a lot of confusion about how you can get infected and how you cannot. For example, even though people understand that you can’t get HIV from utensils, there are many who will experience a twinge of concern if they learned that the chef of their favorite restaurant has HIV.
HIV has a way of spurring anxieties in even the best of us and, with it, our sense of reason. Relieving those anxieties often requires us to do more than just lay out the rules. Instead, we need to understand what conditions are required for an infection to take place and why things like hugging, touching, sneezing, or kissing simply do not satisfy those conditions.
If I Have Sex With A Commercial Sex Worker Will I Get Hiv
Unprotected sex places you at a high risk of contracting the virus whether it is with a commercial sex worker or anybody else. Statistics from the Caribbean and several other parts of the world have shown that there is a higher prevalence or occurrence of HIV in commercial sex workers . Therefore by having unprotected sex with a commercial sex worker the risk of contracting HIV is high.
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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.