Can I Transmit Hiv To My Baby During Pregnancy Or Breastfeeding
An HIV-infected pregnant woman can pass the virus on to her unborn baby either before or during birth. HIV can also be passed on during breastfeeding. If a woman knows that she is infected with HIV, there are drugs she can take to greatly reduce the chances of her child becoming infected. Other ways to lower the risk include choosing to have a caesarean section delivery and not breastfeeding.
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.
Ways Hiv Cannot Be Spread
HIV is not spread by:
- Air or water
- Mosquitoes, ticks or other insects
- Saliva, tears, or sweat that is not mixed with the blood of a person with HIV
- Shaking hands hugging sharing toilets sharing dishes, silverware, or drinking glasses or engaging in closed-mouth or social kissing with a person with HIV
- Drinking fountains
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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.
How Is Hiv/aids Transmitted
Sexual contact – HIV is spread most commonly by sexual contact with an infected partner. The virus enters the body through the lining of the vagina, vulva, penis, rectum, or mouth during sexual activity.
Blood contamination – HIV may also be spread through contact with infected blood. However, due to the screening of blood for evidence of HIV infection, the risk of acquiring HIV from blood transfusions is extremely low.
Needles – HIV is frequently spread by sharing needles, syringes, or drug use equipment with someone who is infected with the virus. Transmission from patient to healthcare worker, or vice-versa through accidental sticks with contaminated needles or other medical instruments, is rare.
Mother-infant – HIV also can be spread to babies born to, or breastfed by, mothers infected with the virus.
Learn more about:
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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.
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.
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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.
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Tips To Avoid Hiv Transmission
To prevent the spread of HIV, follow these guidelines:
- Use condoms during sexual intercourse
- Never share needles and syringes
- Avoid multiple sexual partners
- Use lubricant during sexual intercourse to reduce friction and dryness which can cause vaginal tears and broken condoms.
- Speak to your doctor about PrEP , if you believe you are at high risk of exposure. PrEP is a daily medication used to help prevent HIV.
- Speak to your doctor about taking post-exposure prophylaxis if you think you’ve just been exposed to the virus. PEP is a type of antiretroviral medication that help prevent HIV if started within 72 hours after you might have been exposed to the virus.
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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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.
Sharing Food Drink Or Utensils
Speaking of mouths: Everything I just mentioned when explaining why kissing is not an HIV-transmission risk also applies to eating and drinking. That includes every type of normal food- or drink-sharing scenario you can think of, including splitting a plate of nachos, drinking from the same water bottle, and using the same fork when sharing a piece of cake.
The only documented cases of HIV transmission through food are extremely specific: They involve food that a person with HIV pre-chewed and then fed to an infant.
Needless to say, this is an extraordinarily rare eventonly a few cases have ever been recordedand they most likely involved blood entering the food due to the adult having poor oral hygiene.
So unless youre making like a mama bird and its chick, you can enjoy a meal or a drink with a person whos living with HIV and have zero concern that youre putting yourself at risk.
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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.
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.
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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.
Can You Get Hiv Through Oral Sex
The risk of HIV from oral sex is very small unless you or your partner have large open sores on the genital area or bleeding gums/sores in your mouth.
There is only a slightly increased risk if a woman being given oral sex is HIV-positive and is menstruating. However, you can always use a dental dam to eliminate these risks.
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Is It Possible To Transmit Hiv Through Saliva
It is only possible to transmit HIV through saliva if there are co-factors such as bleeding gums, throat or urethral infections or a high viral load. Saliva does carry the HIV virus but in such low quantities that it is not possible to pass on the infection through kissing or spitting as long as there are no open sores or bleeding gums which result in the exchange of blood. Even cases involving the transference of HIV through saliva with co-factors are extremely rare. However, infection is possible through oral sex but to a much lower degree than anal or vaginal sex.
High concentrations of HIV are present in blood, vaginal fluid, semen, breast milk and any other body fluids which contain blood. Any exchange of these fluids between an infected and a non-infected person is highly risky. There are very low quantities of HIV in saliva so it is not possible to transmit HIV through saliva alone as, to become infected with the virus, there has to be a sufficient quantity of the virus transferred. There is no transmission risk from kissing unless both partners have severely bleeding gums or large open sores in their mouth. There is no risk from sharing glasses, spitting or sneezing as the virus cannot spread or maintain infectiousness in the open air.
Hiv And Maternal Transmission
HIV can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or through breastfeeding. If left untreated throughout these stages, there is a 15-45% chance of an HIV positive mother transmitting the virus to their child . However there are treatment options to prevent this from happening.
If pregnancy occurs and there has been potential HIV exposure, ask a healthcare provider about getting tested for HIV as early as possible. Taking medications called antiretroviral therapy as prescribed can reduce the viral load so that the baby has a very low chance of contracting HIV .
A person with HIV should not breastfeed their child, as breast milk can transmit HIV. Even if a person is taking ART and their viral loads are undetectable, they should still not breastfeed.
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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.
Ways Hiv Is Not Spread
Get the true facts about HIV transmission.
The human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, has existed in the United States since at least the 1970s, but myths and misconceptions about how it’s transmitted still persist.
Most people know that the virus is commonly spread through sexual contact and intravenous drug use. But what other behaviors are and are not risk factors?
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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.