Hiv And Std Criminalization Laws
As of 2021, 35 states have laws that criminalize HIV exposure.The laws for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico were assessed and categorized into four categories.
General criminal statutes, such as reckless endangerment and attempted murder, can be used to criminalize behaviors that can potentially expose another to HIV and or an STD. Many states have laws that fall into more than one of the categories listed above. For this analysis, only HIV-specific laws are captured for states with both HIV-specific laws and STD/communicable/infectious disease laws. Only HIV or STD/communicable/infectious disease laws are captured for states with both HIV or STD/communicable/infectious disease laws and sentence enhancement statutes.
Criminalize or Control Behaviors Through HIV-Specific Statutes and Regulations
Criminalize or Control Behaviors Through STD/Communicable/Infectious Diseases Specific Statutes
Sentence Enhancement Statutes
What Is Viral Suppression
Antiretroviral therapy keeps HIV from making copies of itself. When a person living with HIV begins an antiretroviral treatment regimen, their viral load drops. For almost everyone who starts taking their HIV medication daily as prescribed, viral load will drop to an undetectable level in six months or less. Continuing to take HIV medications as directed is imperative to stay undetectable.
What Does U=u Mean For Me If I Dont Have Hiv
You dont need to be afraid of getting HIV when your sexual partner is undetectable. As stated in the NAM aidsmap resource Undetectable viral load and transmission information for HIV-negative people, If you have a partner with HIV who is on treatment and has an undetectable viral load, they will not pass HIV on to you even if you dont use condoms. However, if you have other sexual partners, you could still contract HIV outside the relationship, possibly from someone who does not know that they have HIV. In these instances, prevention methods such as condoms or PrEP may still be important. It is important to remember that while an undetectable viral load will prevent transmission of HIV, it does not protect you or them from other sexually transmitted infections or unwanted pregnancy. Condoms are highly effective at preventing STIs. Condoms and other birth control options may be considered to prevent pregnancy as well.
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Do Condoms Stop Hiv Being Passed On
Yes.Using a condom correctly prevents contact with semen or vaginal secretions , stopping HIV from being passed on. The virus cannot pass through the latex of the condom.
Condoms should only be used with a water-based lubricant as oil-based lube weakens them.
People with HIV who are on effective treatment and have an undetectable viral load cannot pass on HIV through any of their body fluids.
Its also important to remember that if you have sex without a condom other sexually transmitted infections can be passed on.
Sex without a condom can also result in pregnancy if other contraception is not being used.
People Living With Hiv Who Are On Antiretroviral Treatment And Maintain An Undetectable Viral Load For At Least Six Months Do Not Sexually Transmit Hiv
For more up to date news and information on Undetectable Viral Load, please visit Ending HIV.
When someone first acquires HIV, the virus replicates quickly in their body. During this stage, their viral load is high, and it is very easy for the virus to be transmitted to sexual partners, especially through unprotected anal sex. Many new HIV infections in New Zealand happen when someone is living with HIV and doesnt know it. As time goes on, their viral load drops and the use of HIV treatment medication can usually bring their viral load down to undetectable levels.
New research shows that starting treatment as soon as possible can make it easier for people living with HIV to get an undetectable viral load sooner and live longer and healthier lives.
Being undetectable does not mean cured – as of yet, there is still no cure for HIV. But it does mean that a person living with HIV will have more health benefits, including not being able to transmit HIV through condomless sex.
For some people, it could take a while to to get their viral load to an undetectable level, and some people might not ever be able to get there despite adhering to medications. Its important that people living with HIV dont feel pressured or expected to have an undetectable viral load.
Having an undetectable viral load also does not provide protection from any other STIs like syphilis, gonorrhoea, or LGV.
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Never Share Needles Syringes Or Other Drug Injection Equipment
- Use new, clean syringes and injection equipment every time you inject.
- Many communities have syringe services programs where you can get new needles and syringes and safely dispose of used ones. SSPs can also link you to substance use disorder treatment, testing, and care and treatment for infectious diseases.
- Some pharmacies sell needles without a prescription.
How can I protect my baby?
Hiv During Pregnancy And Childbirth
Women living with HIV who are on treatment and have a stable undetectable viral load are extremely unlikely to transmit HIV to their baby during pregnancy and childbirth. There is a 1 in 1000 chance of transmitting HIV to the baby during pregnancy and delivery, when a woman is on antiretroviral treatment and has a viral load below 50 copies/ml .
HIV-positive women who are on treatment and have stable undetectable viral load, have a 1-2% chance of transmitting HIV to their baby if they breastfeed for 12 months.
So, although it is unlikely that a woman will transmit HIV to her baby when breastfeeding it is currently advised not to breastfeed.
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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
Does Everyone Who Starts Hiv Treatment Become And Remain Undetectable
Nearly everyone who starts ART finds a drug regimen that works within six months. About one out of six people will need additional time to find the right treatment due to possible side effects and adherence issues. Continuing treatment and getting regular viral load monitoring are important to maintain an undetectable viral load.
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What Does It Mean To Be Undetectable
HIV medication works by reducing the amount of the virus in the blood to undetectable levels. This means the levels of HIV are so low that the virus cannot be passed on. This is called having an undetectable viral load or being undetectable.
It can take up to six months for some people to become undetectable from when they start treatment.
PARTNER 1 and PARTNER 2 studies provide robust evidence for gay couples and heterosexual couples that the risk of HIV transmission with suppressive ART is effectively zero, which supports the message of the international campaign, U=U .
If I Have A Viral Load Blip Could I Pass On Hiv
People with an undetectable viral load sometimes experience what are called blips in their viral load. Their viral load increases from undetectable to a low but detectable level before becoming undetectable again on the next test.
For example, your viral load may temporarily rise to 60 copies/ml or 150 copies/ml. This should not be a cause for concern.
Remember that in the PARTNER and Opposites Attract studies, undetectable was defined as below 200 copies/ml. These studies showed that transmission does not occur below this level.
However, a blip could indicate a problem if it happens around the same time as missed or late doses of your medication, or if your viral load stays above detectable on two consecutive tests.
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How Is Hiv Spread Through Sex
You can get infected from sexual contact with someone who has HIV. Sexual contact that can transmit HIV includes:
- vaginal sex
- anal sex
- oral sex
If you have sex, the best thing you can do to prevent HIV infection is practice âsafer sexâ with any partner who is not proven to be HIV negative . To do so, always use protectionâthis could include using a condom, dental dam, or other latex barrier, and/or PrEP . It is also important to avoid ârough sexâ or other activities that might cause bleeding. If you use lube with a condom, make sure it is water-based, not oil-based. Oil-based lube causes latex condoms to break. See more tips for using condoms note that, if used correctly and consistently, condoms also protect against other sexually transmitted infections and against pregnancy.
If you have unprotected sex with someone who is infected, it doesnât mean that you will be infected, too. But there is always a chance, especially if your partner is not on effective HIV medicines. Using condoms and PrEP reduces your risk.
HIV is NOT spread by:
- hugging or massage
- sex toys you donât share
- daily living with someone who has HIV
For more information, see Sex and Sexuality in the Daily Living section.
Background On Hiv Criminalization In Us
The following resources provide a broad overview of HIV criminalization in the United States. Specifically, these resources address the science of HIV, provide background literature on the history and practices of HIV criminalization, and the current status of HIV criminalization laws and statutes in the United States.
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Getting Pregnant When A Male Partner Is Hiv
If a male partner is HIV-positive, a procedure called sperm washing can be used to conceive. During this procedure a machine separates sperm cells from the seminal fluid, which can carry the virus. The washed sperm is then used to fertilise the womans egg using a special catheter inserted into the uterus.
If the male partner is on effective treatment and has a stable undetectable viral load, there is no risk of HIV transmission.
In-vitro-fertilisation may also be an option.
How Do You Get Or Transmit Hiv
You can only get HIV by coming into direct contact with certain body fluids from a person with HIV who has a detectable viral load. These fluids are:
- Semen and pre-seminal fluid
- Rectal fluids
- Vaginal fluids
- Breast milk
For transmission to occur, the HIV in these fluids must get into the bloodstream of an HIV-negative person through a mucous membrane open cuts or sores or by direct injection.
People with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners.
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When Both Partners Are Positive: What About Reinfection
Many HIV positive people have sexual partners who are also positive.
If both partners are positive this removes the anxiety of worrying about HIV.
Knowing about reinfection is important. If either partner has drug resistance or a different type of resistance this can be transmitted.
How often reinfection occurs is not known. The risk is probably at least as low as catching HIV the first time. This will be higher if viral load is detectable and dramatically less for someone on effective treatment.
The implications for your health if reinfection occurs will depend on how serious the resistance is.
This means knowing about both your and your partners treatment history.
If neither of you have resistance, or if you both have the same resistance, then reinfection is not a problem.
But if one of you has drug resistance, and a detectable viral load, then reinfection would stop these drugs from working.
Can I Trust That My Partner Is Really Undetectable
Just like you cannot tell if someone has HIV or is taking PrEP by looking at them, you also cannot tell if someone has an undetectable viral load by how they look. Whether or not you choose to trust your partner is a highly personal decision and is likely to depend upon your sexual practices and relationship circumstances. People engaged in consensual sex are responsible for their own sexual health. In some circumstances, PrEP is an empowering option to protect yourself against HIV transmission without having to depend on others. If all parties agree, attending a medical visit with your partner and getting viral load info from the provider can be a way to increase trust.
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If Im Undetectable Is There A Chance My Viral Load Will Become Detectable Again
Being undetectable does not mean that you are cured of HIV. There are three instances when your HIV viral load might come back and be detectable again.
The most common instances are so-called viral blips. Blips are when your HIV levels become slightly detectable, but at a very low level, and then goes back to being undetectable again. People may experience viral blips when they take their HIV medications every day. Viral blips are usually due to issues in the lab, such as some slight error in the test or in the test conditions in the lab. Occasionally they are due to a slight but true increase in the viral load due to a stress such as an illness or a vaccine. Viral blips, in which the viral load goes right back down to undetectable soon, are considered harmless. There is no appreciable chance that a person with a viral blip will transmit HIV to another person.
People also become detectable when they stop taking their HIV medications or take them only partially. It may take between a week to several weeks after stopping HIV treatment for HIV to become detectable again, but people will see the levels of virus in their body go up to detectable levels.
Does Having A Sexually Transmitted Infection Affect The Chance Of Hiv Transmission
Having an STI is not significant to HIV transmission when the partner with HIV has an undetectable viral load. An STI in the presence of a detectable viral load may increase the risk of HIV transmission. According to the CDC, consistent and correct latex condom use is highly effective in preventing STIs and associated conditions, and sexual transmission of HIV.
STIs were present during the PARTNER studies, and U=U still applied. For more information on the PARTNER study, see question 3 above.
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How Hiv Treatment Stops Hiv Being Passed On
- A person with HIV who is taking treatment and has an undetectable viral load cannot pass on HIV.
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis is a course of HIV drugs taken by an HIV negative person to lower the chance of infection. When taken correctly, PrEP significantly reduces the chances of becoming HIV positive.
- Post-exposure prophylaxis is a month-long course of HIV medication taken by an HIV negative person after possible exposure to reduce the chance of getting HIV. When started in time, PEP can stop HIV infection after sex without a condom with someone who has a detectable viral load but it doesnt work every time.
What Is An Undetectable Viral Load
- Taking antiretroviral treatment reduces the amount of HIV in your body.
- With proper adherence, ART can reduce HIV to such low levels that the virus can no longer be detected in normal blood tests. This is called having an undetectable viral load.
- People with undetectable viral loads cant pass HIV on through sex.
- To know that youre undetectable, you must have your viral load monitored regularly.
- Remember your viral load can change. If you stop taking your treatment properly your viral load will go up again.
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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.
What Are Viral Load Blips
Even if a person is durably undetectable and taking antiretroviral therapy daily as prescribed, they may experience small, transient increases in viral load called blips followed by a decrease back to undetectable levels. Having a blip is relatively common and does not indicate that antiretroviral therapy has failed to control the virus. Scientists are working to better understand what causes blips.
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