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 .
How Is Hiv Spread Through Blood
You can become infected if you have contact with the blood of someone who has HIV. Blood-borne infection with HIV can occur through:
- sharing injection equipment when using drugs
- getting tattoos or body piercings with unsterilized needles
- accidental needle sticks
- splashing blood in your eyes
HIV is NOT spread by blood passed through insect bites.
If you inject drugs, the best thing to do is to use new or sterilized injection equipment every time. You can also take a daily medication called pre-exposure prophylaxis to lower your risk of HIV. Learn more about PrEP.
Effective Barriers Against Hiv
There are many effective barriers that prevent infection.
Skin: Skin is an excellent barrier against HIV, unless there is an open cut or open wound. Infectious fluid on skin is NOT a route for infection.
Mucous membranes in the mouth, throat and stomach: These membranes are good barriers against HIV infection, so long as there are not cuts, ulcers or sores.
Saliva: Saliva contains proteins and a low salt content that actively reduce its infectiousness. Even when HIV is detected there is too little to cause infection. HIV is not transmitted by kissing including deep kissing. Spit cannot transmit HIV.
Air: HIV is not transmitted by air.
Latex and rubber: Condoms prevent infection from HIV and many other sexually transmitted infections.
Many sexual situations have no risk of transmitting HIV.
These include masturbation , kissing and deep kissing, receiving oral sex and vaginal or anal sex using a condom correctly.
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Unprotected Sex Is Fine Since We Both Tested Negative For Hiv
There are several ways to test for HIV. The most common is an antibody screening test, in which doctors test for how many antibodies your body makes to fight the virus. But it takes your body a while to generate those antibodies, so there’s a window of time in which you could have the virus and still test negative.
If you test negative on an antibody test three months after your last possible risk of infection, you can assume that you don’t have the virus, according to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. But it’s still important to practice safe sex and get tested regularly.
Can Sharing Dishes Or Drinking Glasses Spread Hiv
Dr. Flash clears up how HIV is and is NOT spread.
You cannot get HIV through casual contact like sharing dishes or drinking glasses, toilet seats, or holding hands. HIV is also not spread through sweat, tears, saliva, or kissing.
The most common way HIV is spread is through unprotected sex with someone with HIV who is not aware of their status or not on antiretrovirals . Unprotected here refers to sex without condoms or the use of medications that reduce the risk of passing HIV from one person to another. HIV can also be transmitted by sharing needles.
#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than AIDS featuring top HIV doctors providing answers to commonly-asked questions about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.
This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decision.
While we make every effort to keep the medical information on our website updated, we cannot guarantee that the information reflects the most up-to-date research. Also, please note the views expressed by individuals who appear in Greater Than AIDS videos and other content are their own and are not made on behalf of any groups/organizations/associations.
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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
Can You Catch Hiv From Kissing
No. Evidence shows that the HIV virus is spread through the exchange of bodily fluids such as blood, semen and vaginal fluids, but not saliva.
Although HIV can be detected in saliva, it can’t be passed to other people through kissing because a combination of antibodies and enzymes found naturally in saliva prevent HIV infecting new cells.
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Myths About Hiv And Aids
- There are lots of myths around, but the facts of how you can get HIV, and how you can protect yourself, are very simple.
- One of the most common myths people living with HIV hear is that they can be cured. Theres no cure yet for HIV, but antiretroviral treatment works and will keep someone living with HIV healthy.
HIV can only be passed on from one person to another via the following bodily fluids:
How Do I Protect Myself From Hiv
There are a number of ways you can protect yourself from HIV, including:
- using a condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex
- in some countries PrEP is available. This is a course of HIV drugs which if taken consistently as advised by your healthcare professional prevents HIV infection through sex
- avoiding sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment
- taking HIV treatment if you are a new or expectant mother living with HIV, as this will dramatically reduce the risk of passing HIV to your baby during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding
- asking your healthcare professional if the blood product you are receiving has been tested for HIV
- taking precautions if you are a healthcare worker, such as wearing protection , washing hands after contact with blood and other bodily fluids, and safely disposing of sharp equipment
- if you think you have been exposed to HIV you may be able to access PEP, a 4-week course of ARV drugs taken after possible HIV exposure to prevent HIV infection. You must start PEP within 72 hours of possible exposure to be effective.
For more detailed information on how to prevent HIV infection visit the relevant page from the listed below:
How To Protect Yourself
Since there is still a chance that you could get infected with HIV through oral sex, you should always take precautions. Here is what you can do to lower your risk:
Do not let a male partner ejaculate in your mouth. You can do this if you remove your mouth from their penis before they ejaculate, or if you use a condom.
Use a condom or dental dam. A dental dam is a thin square piece of latex or silicone that you place over the vagina or anal area during oral sex. You can also cut a latex condom lengthwise and use it the same way.
Both of these barriers also lower the risk of infection from other STDs such as gonorrhea of the throat or hepatitis. Use a new one every time you have oral sex. Check the expiration date on the package, and make sure there are no tears or defects.
Don’t use oil-based products like baby oil, lotion, petroleum jelly, or cooking oil on condoms or dental dams because that can cause them to break. If you need lubrication, use a water-based or silicone-based product instead. Always use a condom or dental dam during your period since the virus can be present in menstrual blood.
Don’t brush your teeth just before oral sex. If you do, your mouth or gums may bleed, which raises chances of infection.
Skip oral sex during risky times. This includes a time when you have sores around your mouth, genitals, or anus , gum damage, a throat infection, or after dental work.
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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Other Types Of Hiv Transmission
Though less common, the virus can be transmitted through oral sex, transfusions of infected blood, and organ transplants. In rare cases, HIV can be transmitted when infected blood touches a persons open wound or comes into contact with a persons eyes.
The transmission of the virus through oral sex is less common than through any other sexual behavior. However, there still remains a risk. An HIV infected person providing oral sex can transmit the virus when blood in their mouth enters their partners body via the following ways: the lining of the vagina, urethra, anus or in open wounds and cuts. Conversely, an HIV positive person receiving oral sex may pass bodily fluids containing the virus through the mouth of the non-infected partner performing oral sex. This risk is heightened if the non-infected individual performing oral sex has wounds in the throat and/or mouth, if the HIV infected individual ejaculates in his/her partners mouth or if the person receiving oral sex has a sexually transmitted disease . Refraining from sexual behavior is the most successful method in preventing HIV. However, should an individual opt to engage in oral sex, it is strongly recommended that condoms and/or latex barriers are used.
Hiv Cant Be Transmitted Through Oral Sex
While the risk of infection might be lower when you have oral sex, the possibility is still there. Your risk is especially high if you or your partner have open sores or cuts on your genitals or mouth, bleeding gums, or if broken skin comes into direct contact with semen, according to the AIDS Action Committee.
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Can Hiv Be Transmitted Through Oral Sex
Yes, but the risk is relatively low.
HIV is transmitted through seminal and vaginal fluids, including menstrual fluids. The virus can enter the body through the bloodstream or by passing through delicate mucous membranes, such as inside the vagina, rectum or urethra.
If a person gives fellatio and has bleeding gums, a cut, or an ulcer inside their mouth, HIV could enter their bloodstream through infected fluid. This could also happen if infected fluid from a woman gets into the mouth of her partner during oral sex.
Using a condom during sex, including oral and anal sex, is the best way to prevent sexually transmitted infections , including HIV. Avoid using an oil-based lubricant, such as Vaseline or baby oil, because they can weaken the condom and increase the risk of it splitting.
You can use a dental dam to cover the anus or female genitals during oral sex. A dental dam is a latex or polyurethane square, measuring about 15cm by 15cm. It acts as a barrier to help stop STIs passing from one person to another.
I Shared A Spoon With Someone Who Has Hiv Could I Be Infected
By | Nov. 20, 2012, 12:47 p.m.
i used the spoon of the infected person . do i have HIV ?
No it isnt possible to become infected with HIV by sharing a spoon with someone who is HIV positive. HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS, is transmitted in blood, semen, breast milk, and vaginal fluids but not in saliva.
HIV is most commonly transmitted by having vaginal or anal intercourse without a condom with someone who has HIV/AIDS, sharing needles or syringes with someone who has HIV/AIDS, or getting HIV-infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluid into open wounds or sores. It is NOT spread through casual contact like kissing, hugging, or sharing drinking glasses or utensils.
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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.
What Is Hiv And What Is Aids
HIV/AIDS are widely known as incurable sexually transmitted diseases, but you might not know the difference between these acronyms and what they stand for.
For simplicityâs sake, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
If a person takes a blood test and receives a diagnosis of HIV, then they are HIV positiveâif a person does not have HIV, then they are HIV negative. HIV causes havoc in a personâs body by weakening their immune system . HIV progressively destroys the cellular part of the immune systemâparticularly types of white blood cells called CD4 cellsâwhich, over time, makes the person become immunodeficient .
As the HIV infection develops in the body, the person will become more and more immunodeficient until they reach a point where they are classified as having Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome . This is often the end stage of an HIV infection, where a personâs body is so immunodeficient that they develop infections, diseases, or cancers and are no longer able to mount a immune defense and fight them off .
There is no cure for HIV . But, if a person does become infected with HIV there are treatments available which can help keep a person healthy.
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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:
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.
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Using Saliva As Sexual Lubricant Can Spread Hiv Hepatitis Physicians
Medical experts say using saliva as a lubricant during sexual intercourse increases the risk of the human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis, and herpes infection.
They also noted that sexually transmitted infections like candidiasis, chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhoea can also be transmitted through the practice.
The physicians urged couples to indulge in foreplay to get lubricated naturally, or get a lubricant that is medically certified before sexual intercourse is initiated.
Speaking with PUNCH Healthwise, a General Practitioner in Minna, Niger State, Dr. Akinkoye Akinpelu, said an HIV-infected man might have a bleeding gum and once the saliva with traces of blood is used to lubricate, the woman will become infected.
You know that HIV is a disease transmitted through blood contact. A man or woman might have a bleeding gum and probably any of the partners already has a cut due to friction during intercourse. By the time they lubricate with the saliva, the bacteria or virus present gets transmitted.
According to the World Health Organisation, HIV is an infection that attacks the bodys immune system, specifically the white blood cells, called CD4 cells.
The WHO noted that HIV destroys these CD4 cells, thereby weakening a persons immunity against infections, such as tuberculosis and some cancers.