What If A Friend Tells You That They Have Hiv
More than a million people in the United States are living with HIV, so you may know someone who has the virus. If your friend, family member, or co-worker has been HIV-positive for some time and has just told you, heres how you can be supportive:
- Acknowledge. If someone has disclosed their HIV status to you, thank them for trusting you with their private health information.
- Ask. If appropriate, ask if theres anything that you can do to help them. One reason they may have chosen to disclose their status to you is that they need an ally or advocate, or they may need help with a particular issue or challenge. Some people are public with this information other people keep it very private. Ask whether other people know this information, and how private they are about their HIV status.
- Reassure. Let the person know, through your words or actions, that their HIV status does not change your relationship and that you will keep this information private if they want you to.
- Learn. Educate yourself about HIV. Today, lots of people living with HIV are on ART and have the virus under control. Others are at different stages of treatment and care. Dont make assumptions and look to your friend for guidance.
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.
What Happens If I Get A Negative Result
This means that no HIV antibodies were detected. A negative result doesnt always mean that you dont have HIV. Thats because of the window period. If you get an HIV test after a potential HIV exposure and the result is negative, get tested again after the window period to be sure.
If youre sexually active, continue to take actions to prevent HIV, like using condoms the right way every time you have sex.
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How To Use An Internal Condom
Internal condoms are also known as female condoms because theyre inserted in an opening, such as the vagina. These condoms are larger than male condoms and are pre-lubricated. When used properly, theyre highly effective at preventing pregnancy and reducing the risk of STI. They are primarily used for vaginal sex, but they can also be used for anal sex. Its not recommended to use a male condom and a female condom at the same time as it increases the risk of a condom breaking.
1. Open carefully
Dont use teeth, scissors or a knife to open the condom. Roughly tearing or handling the condom can damage it. If the person handling the condom has long fingernails, be extra careful as they can nick the condom, making it ineffective, putting you at risk of STI or unplanned pregnancy.
The outer ring covers the area around the opening of the vagina or anus. The inner ring is used for insertion and to help hold the condom in place during intercourse. Hold the condom at the closed end, squat, sit or lie comfortably and then slide the inner ring inside. Gently push the inner ring up as far as it will go, with the outer ring remaining on the outside. Guide the penis or sex toy to make sure its entering inside the condom, not next to it.
To remove the condom, twist the outer ring gently and pull the condom out. Throw the used condom in the garbage and dont reuse it.
Almost Half Of Brits Would Feel Uncomfortable Kissing Someone With Hiv
New poll reveals shocking levels of stigma in the UK.
A major new survey, released on the anniversary of Terry Higgins’ death in 1982, shows that attitudes around HIV remain stuck in the 1980s.
Terry was one of the first people to die of an AIDS-related illness, 37 years ago today.
The new survey comes despite huge medical progress in the fight against HIV since Terrys death, including that people living with the virus and on effective treatment cant pass it on with or without a condom.
However, the survey, commissioned by leading HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust, has shown that just under one in five Brits are aware of this stigma-busting fact.
In the UK, a huge 97% of those diagnosed and on treatment are virally supressed, which means levels of virus in the blood are so low that they cant pass on HIV.
Despite this being confirmed by two major scientific studies, 41% of Brits believe everyone living with HIV can pass on the virus and 64% would feel uncomfortable having sex with someone living with HIV who is on effective treatment.
In just a couple of decades, effective treatment means a HIV diagnosis has gone from a virtual death sentence to where we are now saying with confidence and without doubt that people living with HIV who are on effective treatment cannot pass the virus on to their sexual partners, says the charitys Medical Director Dr Michael Brady on the remarkable progress.
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Myth : Theres No Treatment For Hiv
Sure, the early days of HIV and AIDS were grim, just given how little people knew about the virus and the condition.
But treatment has come a long way since the 80s. Today, antiretroviral medications can greatly reduce the amount of the virus in a persons body, often to the point that HIV no longer shows up on blood tests.
When that happens, the person has effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to others. Plus, it helps prevent HIV from progressing.
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.
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Am I At Higher Risk If I Have Sex With A Member Of The Same Sex
HIV is transmitted sexually regardless of your sexual preference. Note however, that worldwide there is a higher prevalence of the virus in certain groups because of their sexual practices and therefore having unsafe sex with someone from one of these groups places you at a higher risk of contracting the virus. Men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers, and people who have a sexually transmitted infection are examples of such groups.
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
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How Can I Learn About Hiv
You will be more comfortable talking to your friend about HIV and AIDS if you know the facts.
AIDS happens after someone has had HIV for many years. In AIDS, the immune system is severely weakened. Serious infections and health problems happen.
HIV spreads when infected blood or body fluids enter the body. This can happen:
HIV also can pass from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
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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Can I Infect My Unborn Child If I Am Positive
Women with HIV can transmit the virus to their fetus. However, the use of special drugs, during pregnancy and at birth, can help reduce the transmission of HIV from mother to child.
For this reason it is important that every pregnant woman takes an HIV antibody-test. Medicines that reduce the chance of infection for the child are available for all pregnant women that are HIV infected and live on St. Maarten. It does not matter if you are insured, non-insured, legal or illegal on the island. Sometimes it is advised to repeat this test later during the pregnancy. Steps to prevent HIV transmission to the baby can be taken even if very late in the pregnancy.
For additional information you can check with your doctor or Dr. van Osch at Union Road Medical Clinic. More information on HIV and pregnancy can be found here.
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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 I Get Hiv By Vaginal Sex
Yes, this is the most frequent mode of transmission of HIV. During sexual intercourse, you can create micro wounds which facilitate the transmission of the virus from a fluid to the bloodstream. It is also possible the direct absorption of HIV through the vaginal mucosa, as well as in men the virus can penetrate through the urethra. The risk of HIV infection increases if one partner has a sexually transmitted disease.
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 youve 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.
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What Should I Do If My Test Is Positive
One of the first things you should do after receiving a positive outcome is to visit a Clinical Center with a Department of Infectious Diseases, for a first specialist visit. People with both symptomatic and asymptomatic HIV are followed entirely on an outpatient hospital both as regards the diagnostic tests that opportunistic infections and any antiretroviral therapy. This condition gives you the right to a full exemption from the ticket that will allow you to perform, for free, all controls and diagnostic tests related to it.
How Do You Get Hiv
The HIV virus is in biological fluids of a HIV positive person. The virus in these fluids can pass through small wounds in the mouth, in the anus , in genital organ, or through skin lacerations , some through mucous membranes thus reaching the bloodstream of another person, infecting her. You can get infected also intravenously , sharing the same needles for injecting substances , or through transfusions of infected blood and its derivatives. Both men and women can be the source of HIV infection. Pregnant women or during childbirth or breastfeeding can also transmit the virus to their child . The most frequent ways of transmission of HIV are still: sharing syringes for injecting drugs / steroids and unprotected sex . HIV is not transmitted by touching or hugging an infected person using or sharing the same cups, glasses, cutlery or telephone going to places like swimming pools or public baths through insect bites . The HIV virus is not in the air or in food , and survives outside the body for a very short time . Currently, it is very unlikely to get HIV through blood transfusions in the United States and in western Europe due to the strict scrutiny applied.
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Where To Get Help
- Communicable Disease Control Unit, Department of Health Victoria Tel. 1300 651 160
- Immunisation Unit, Department of Health, Victorian Government Email:
- NURSE-ON-CALL Tel. 1300 606 024 for expert health information and advice
- Heymann, D. L. , Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 18th edition, American Public Health Association, Washington.
- Communicable Diseases Network Australia, Guidelines for the early clinical and public health management of meningococcal disease in Australia – Revised Edition 2007, Department of Health and Ageing, Australian Government.
- Blue book – Guidelines for the control of infectious diseases, , Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Surveillance , Department of Health, Victorian Government. More information here.
- Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare , National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Government. More information here.
A Member Of My Family Or Close Friend Of Mine Has Hiv Am I Also At Risk
Although HIV has been transmitted between family members in a household setting, this type of transmission is extremely rare. These transmissions are believed to have resulted from contact between mucous membranes and infected blood. To prevent even such rare occurrences, precautions should be taken in all settings including the home to prevent exposure to the blood of persons who are HIV infected, at risk for HIV infection, or whose infection and risk status are unknown.
For example, gloves should be worn during contact with blood or other body fluids that could possibly contain visible blood, such as urine, faeces, or vomit.
Cuts, sores, or breaks on both the caregivers’ and patients exposed skin should be covered with bandages. Hands and other parts of the body should be washed immediately after contact with blood or other body fluids.
Surfaces soiled with blood should be disinfected appropriately. Practices that increase the likelihood of blood contact, such as sharing of razors and toothbrushes, should be avoided.
Needles and other sharp instruments should be used only when necessary and handled according to recommendations for health care settings. .
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Faq Frequently Asked Questions
Author: Dr Bow Tauro PhD, BSc First answered: 18 Sep 2014Last reviewed: 18 May 2018Rating: 4.8 out of 5Votes: 342 Category: Pelvic inflammatory disease
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Doctors Australia provides health information and is not to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Always ask your doctor or healthcare provider any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In case of emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 , or dial 112 , or dial 000 immediately.
Can I Get Hiv From A Tattoo Or Body Piercing Needle
The risk of getting HIV from tattoo or body piercing needles exists if the needles are not properly sterilized or disinfected. Instruments that are intended to pierce the skin should only be used once and then disposed of or thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. If you are considering getting a tattoo or piercing done, ask the staff at the establishment what precautions they take to prevent the spread of HIV.
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