Reducing Hiv Risks From Chemsex And Drug Use
- Inject drugs.
- Forget to take your HIV medications.
- Are taking PreP it can be less effective if it is mixed with other drugs.
Getting Your Hiv Test Results
Most HIV test results are available within a week.
If the test result is negative, you may receive your results within a few days.
If the initial test result is positive, then additional testing to confirm the result needs to be performed in a reference laboratory and this can take up to a week to get a result.
How Hiv Cannot Be Spread
From both a biological and epidemiological evidence, HIV cannot and has never been shown to be passed from one person to the next by the following means:
- Touching, hugging, kissing or shaking hands
- Touching an object an HIV-positive person has touched
- Sharing utensils or cups
- Eating food prepared by an HIV-positive person
- Sharing grooming items, even toothbrushes or razors
- Getting spit on by an HIV-positive person
- Getting bitten by an HIV-positive person
- Touching semen or vaginal fluid
- Getting blood from an HIV-positive person on you
- Using public fountains, toilet seats, or showers
To date, there has not been a single documented case of transmission by any of these means.
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What Puts You At Risk For Stds And Hiv
You’re at risk if you:
- Have sex without using a condom, with someone who is infected.
- Have had an STD.
- Have more than one sex partner.
- Are under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
- Many women have STDs without having symptoms. This means that unless she gets tested, she may have an STD and not know it.
- Young women are getting HIV or an STD because the tissue lining the vagina is more fragile.
If you are a woman, take charge of your sexual health. Be sure to schedule pelvic exams and pap smears every year. Get tested and learn how to protect yourself from STDs and HIV.
Is Hiv/aids Different In Older Adults
A growing number of older people are living with HIV/AIDS. One reason is because improved treatments are helping people with the disease live longer. Nearly half of people living with HIV in the United States are age 50 and older. Many of them were diagnosed with HIV in their younger years. However, thousands of older people get HIV every year.
Older people are less likely than younger people to get tested, so they may not know they have HIV. Signs of HIV/AIDS can be mistaken for the aches and pains of normal aging. Older adults might be coping with other diseases and the aches and pains of normal aging, which can mask the signs of HIV/AIDS.
Some older people may feel ashamed or afraid of being tested. Plus, doctors do not always think to test older people for HIV. Some people may not have access to high-quality health facilities and services, which can limit their treatment options. By the time the older person is diagnosed, the virus may be in the late stages and more likely to progress to AIDS.
Remember, if you are at risk, get tested regularly for HIV.
For people who have HIV, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis. Treatment can help reduce the level of HIV in the blood to undetectable levels. When treatment makes HIV undetectable, the possibility of spreading the virus to a sexual partner becomes very low. This is known as treatment as prevention .
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Is There Anything You Can Do To Reduce Your Risk Of Contracting It
If you swallowed seminal fluid, and youre worried about HIV, head to the nearest clinic or emergency department ASAP for a PEP prescription.
PEP is a 28-day course of HIV medication given to people who are HIV-negative to prevent HIV after a possible exposure. It needs to be started within 72 hours.
Yes, but keep in mind that not everyone experiences symptoms early on. So, if youre worried you were exposed, dont wait for symptoms to appear before getting tested.
See a healthcare professional right away if you experience any of these:
Ways Hiv Can Be Transmitted
How is HIV passed from one person to another?
Most people who get HIV get it through anal or vaginal sex, or sharing needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment . But there are powerful tools that can help prevent HIV transmission.
Can I get HIV from anal sex?
You can get HIV if you have anal sex with someone who has HIV without using protection .
- Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV.
- Being the receptive partner is riskier for getting HIV than being the insertive partner .
- The bottoms risk of getting HIV is very high because the rectums lining is thin and may allow HIV to enter the body during anal sex.
- The top is also at risk because HIV can enter the body through the opening at the tip of the penis , the foreskin if the penis isnt circumcised, or small cuts, scratches, or open sores anywhere on the penis.
Can I get HIV from vaginal sex?
You can get HIV if you have vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using protection .
Can HIV be transmitted from a mother to her baby?
HIV can be transmitted from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. However, it is less common because of advances in HIV prevention and treatment.
Can I get HIV from sharing needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment?
You are at high risk for getting HIV if you with someone who has HIV. Never share needles or other equipment to inject drugs, hormones, steroids, or silicone.
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Saliva Sweat Tears Urine Or Feces
HIV cannot be spread by sharing drinking glasses or by casual kissing. The risk of spreading the virus through “deep” kissing in which large amounts of saliva are exchanged is extremely low. Only one unproven case has ever been reported.
No cases of HIV spread have ever been reported after a person has come in contact with the sweat, tears, urine, or feces of an HIV-infected person.
Sharing Drinks With Others: Can I Actually Catch A Disease
One thing that has become very clear over the last decade or so is how thirsty we’ve all become. It seems like everyone has a bottle of water or some other drink with them at all times. Which is probably good — the health benefits of water are well-known.
But all these bottles of water floating around lead to a lot of sharing drinks with others. Probably because it’s so easy to do . Plus, you have the age-old “ooh that looks good, can I have a sip of that?” to try someone else’s drink.
So this leads to the question — is sharing drinks healthy? Can you catch diseases or other sicknesses from sharing drinks?
The answer is a resounding “yes” — some diseases/sicknesses, anyway. Since there’s almost certain to be saliva involved in any sharing of drinks, salivary transfer of germs/viruses/etc. is going to happen. The most common are the ones you’d expect . We’re talking strep throat, the common cold, and mumps being the big three. There’s also the rarer meningitis.
Those are the main ones that can be transmitted via saliva. There are a few more I’d like to mention — I’ve gone on extensively about cold sores here in my blog posts, which can be transmitted via saliva and kissing, so we can safely add that one to the list as well. And there’s also mononucleosis, which is sometimes called the “kissing disease” — that can go on the list, too.
You know what that says to me? That says don’t share forks with someone who has hepatitis B.
Until next time, keep smiling!
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Can Herbal Medicine Cure Hiv
No. Some people choose to take alternative forms of medicine, such as herbal medicines, as a natural way of treating HIV. However, herbal remedies do not work.
Taking herbal medicines can be dangerous as they will not protect your immune system from infection. They may also interact poorly with antiretrovirals if you are taking them alongside treatment. The only way you can stay healthy when living with HIV is to take antiretroviral treatment as prescribed by your doctor or healthcare professional, and to attend viral load monitoring appointments to make sure your treatment is working.
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:
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How Do I Get Tested For Hiv
A small blood sample, mouth swab, or urine sample is used to test people for HIV. It can take as long as three to six months after initial exposure for the signs of the virus to show up in your blood, and years before you show any symptoms.
You can be tested at a doctor’s office, hospital, community health center, or other health clinic. Some places have mobile testing vans. AIDS services organizations also may provide testing. At-home testing kits are also available.
Depending on where you go, testing may be free. You may be able to choose to take the test without giving your name. Many providers or groups that offer HIV testing also provide counseling.
If you choose to take a test at home, make sure to use a test that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . If the test has not been approved by the FDA, it may not give accurate results. Home tests are sold at drugstores and online. Follow up with your doctor to confirm the results of at-home tests and, if necessary, begin treatment.
Stay On Top Of Medications Including Art Prep And Pep
There are a few medications available that can help prevent the transmission of HIV:
- ART. A person living with HIV may take antiretroviral therapy, or ART, to help them stay healthy and prevent the transmission of HIV. Most people who take it as prescribed can lower their viral load to an undetectable level.
- PrEP. This is a drug that someone who is HIV-negative can take to lower the risk of contracting HIV by as much as 99 percent .
- PEP. This is a drug regimen that can help reduce the risk of HIV after a possible exposure when started within 72 hours.
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How Can I Protect Myself
The best way to protect yourself from HIV is to not have sex and not share needles.
If you decide to have sex, reduce your risk of getting HIV by:
- using a condom every time you have sex
- getting tested for HIV and making sure all partners do too
- reducing the number of sexual partners you have
- getting tested and treated for STDs having an STD increases the risk of HIV infection
Understanding how HIV spreads can help you make safer choices about sex. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about HIV and if you want to get tested.
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.
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Get Tested Regularly If You Are At Greater Risk Of Hiv
If you are at greater risk of HIV get tested regularly.
Gay, bisexual, trans and other men who have sex with men should get tested every 3 months . This may vary depending on how many sexual partners you have during the year.
Talk with your doctor or sexual health specialist for advice. They can also provide information about how to reduce your risk for HIV and other STIs.
Is There Anything You Can Do To Prevent Other Forms Of Transmission
Avoid sharing drug injection equipment, like needles and syringes, which can expose someone to blood infected with HIV.
Keep any alcohol intake or drug use in check. If needed, consider seeking help for substance use, which is linked to a higher risk of HIV and other STIs.
If you or your partner have concerns or are in need of support, reach out to a doctor or other healthcare professional for help with:
- HIV and other STI testing
- treatment and prevention medications
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How Does Hiv Spread
HIV spreads when infected blood, semen or vaginal fluids enter the body. Because symptoms can be mild at first, people with HIV might not know they’re infected. They can spread HIV to others without knowing it.
HIV can spread:
- during sex
- through sharing needles for injecting drugs or tattooing
HIV also can pass from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
HIV does not spread through:
- pee, poop, spit, throw-up, or sweat
- coughing or sneezing
- sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses
How Can Alcohol Put You At Risk For Getting Or Transmitting Hiv
Drinking alcohol, particularly binge drinking, affects your brain, making it hard to think clearly. When youre drunk, you may be more likely to make poor decisions that put you at risk for getting or transmitting HIV, such as having sex without a condom.
You also may be more likely to have a harder time using a condom the right way every time you have sex, have more sexual partners, or use other drugs. Those behaviors can increase your risk of exposure to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Or, if you have HIV, they can also increase your risk of transmitting HIV to others.
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How Is Hiv Transmitted
Anyone, at any age, can get HIV. People usually acquire HIV from unprotected sex with someone living with HIV, through contact with HIV-infected blood, or by sharing needles with a person living with HIV. You may be at risk if:
- You had sex without a latex or polyurethane condom. The virus passes from the person living with HIV to his or her partner via blood, semen, or vaginal fluid. During sex, HIV can get into your body through body fluids and any opening, such as a tear or cut in the lining of the vagina, vulva, penis, rectum, or rarely the mouth. Latex condoms can help prevent HIV transmission between sexual partners.
- You or your sexual partners have shared needles with a person living with HIV. People who inject illegal drugs are not the only people who might share needles. For example, people with diabetes who inject insulin or draw blood to test glucose levels could also share needles. Talk to your partner about their drug and sexual history, and always use a new, sterile needle for injections.
- You had a blood transfusion or operation in a developing country at any time.
- You had a blood transfusion in the United States between 1978 and 1985.
- You were diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis or tuberculosis at any time.
How Do You Bring This Up To Other Current Or Potential Partners
Ideally, youll have the convo at a time and place thats private and free of interruptions.
Keep it simple and to the point, and be willing to answer their questions honestly. Let them know what youre doing about it, like taking PEP, and when youre supposed to get your results.
Be prepared that they might not be comfortable with getting intimate until you know your status, and respect their decision.
If youre gonna get busy, there are plenty of precautions you and your sexual partner can take to reduce the risk of HIV.
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Other Types Of Transmission
In the past, HIV was spread by transfusion with blood products, such as whole blood or the “factor” used by hemophiliacs. Many people acquired HIV this way. The blood supply is now much more strictly tested and controlled in most countries. The odds of acquiring HIV from receiving blood or blood factor in countries like the US, the UK, and Canada are extremely low. For example, statistics from the US show that a person is more likely to be killed by a lightning strike than they are to acquire HIV from a blood transfusion. However, not every country screens all blood donations for HIV.
It is also possible to get HIV from skin grafts or transplanted organs taken from people living with HIV. Again, the risk is considered very low, as these “body products” must be strictly tested in the same way as blood products. Semen donations collected by sperm banks for artificial insemination are also considered “bodily products” and rigorously tested in high-resource countries. Private semen samples that are not processed by sperm banks or similar organizations may not have been tested. It is important for anyone receiving a private donor’s sperm for artificial insemination to have the donor tested for HIV.
If you are getting breast milk from a milk bank, it is important to ask if the bank tests the milk for HIV. Also, if your baby is getting breast milk from a wet nurse, it is important to make sure that she tests negative for HIV before giving her milk to your baby.