Is It True That Gay Men Are More At Risk For Hiv Than Other People
Although anyone can be at risk for HIV, some people can be more at risk depending upon the types of sexual practices and drug use they are engaging in. Being gay does not necessarily mean you are at higher risk, but certain activities gay men sometimes participate in might put them at greater risk. Overall, the gay male population in Canada has higher rates of HIV infection than some other populations. Stigma and homophobia can affect a person’s ability to access information about safer sex specifically for gay men.
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. .
Safety Tips And How To Have Safer Sex
There are many ways people can have sex with a decreased risk of contracting STIs.
People should wash their genitals, hands, and anything else that comes into contact with their partner before and after sexual activities. They should also avoid contact with sores, scratches, or open wounds.
The most effective way of minimizing or avoiding the transmission of STIs is by using a barrier method, such as condoms and dental dams.
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Can You Get Hiv/aids From Someone’s Blood Touching Your Open Sore
HIV transmissions as a result of one person’s blood entering another person’s open sore or wound are theoretically possible, but in practice hardly ever happen. Only a handful of cases have ever been documented.
If a person is living with HIV and they do not have an undetectable viral load, and their blood directly enters the bloodstream of another person, HIV may be passed on. For example, this is how HIV is usually transmitted when people share syringes or needles used to inject drugs.
However, HIV transmission following limited contactfor example, blood touching an open soreis much less likely.
If you are concerned about an incident in which you had contact with another person’s blood, it’s worth noting a few points:
- If the blood came into contact with undamaged, unbroken skin, there is no HIV risk whatsoever.
- HIV is not transmitted through surface scratches, such as paper cuts.
- A cut or wound that is in the process of healing and scabbing over is unlikely to allow entry of the other person’s blood.
- HIV does not survive long outside the body, so the risk from blood left behind on objects is minimal.
- The handful of documented cases of HIV transmission involving fights or accidents have involved serious injuries and profuse bleeding.
How Long Can Hiv Survive Outside The Human Body
Generally the fragile nature of the virus prevents it from surviving for a substantial amount of time in the open air. The length of time HIV can survive outside the body is dependent on the amount of HIV present in the body fluid and the conditions the fluid is subjected to.
Note that HIV is fragile and many common substances such as hot liquid, soap, bleach, alcohol, and the gastric juices found within your stomach can destroy the virus.
Your skin is a 100% proof barrier against HIV. The virus cannot enter your skin unless there is an open bleeding wound. If you get blood on your skin, simply wash with water and soap. There is no need to scrub because this might damage the skin.
It is good practice to be careful with any blood spill, because one can never tell if the person it came from has HIV or other blood borne infections. You can safely clean such blood spills with water and Clorox.
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Hiv: How Its Not Transmitted
The following are nine ways the virus is not spread:
Kissing and touching. Social kissing and hugging pose no risk of transmission, Sha says. Also, being sexual with someone without exchanging infected body fluids does not spread the virus. The only time deep kissing is a risk is when the person infected with HIV has open sores or oral bleeding, Sha notes.
Sharing a living space. Any casual contact with someone who has HIV, including sharing a bathroom, is safe. However, Sha tells patients not to share razor blades or toothbrushes. If someone who is infected nicks himself while shaving or has bleeding gums, it could increase risk of transmission.
Sharing food or utensils. The virus cannot survive on surfaces, so sharing utensils and other household items will not spread HIV. You can even share a meal with someone who is infected without worry. Transmission has been associated with mothers pre-chewing food for their babies, when infected blood from the mouth mixes with the food. Known as pre-mastication, it is a common practice in Africa, but not typically done in the United States, Sha says.
Saliva, sweat, or tears. An infected persons saliva, sweat, and tears do not put you at risk.
Water fountains. Sipping from a water fountain after someone who has HIV used it is considered casual contact and will not lead to transmission.
Mosquitoes and other insects. The virus is not viable in insects or ticks, Sha says.
Can I Get Hiv From Receiving Medical Care
Although HIV transmission is possible in health care settings, it is extremely rare.
Careful practice of infection control, including universal precautions protects patients as well as health care providers from possible HIV transmission in medical and dental offices and hospitals.
The risk of getting HIV from receiving blood transfusions, blood products, or organ/tissue transplants that are contaminated with HIV is extremely small because of rigorous testing of the US blood supply and donated organs and tissues.
It is important to know that you cannot get HIV from donating blood. Blood collection procedures are highly regulated and safe.
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Other Types Of Hiv Risks
Another less-common way HIV is transmitted in the United States is needlestick injury. This typically happens when a health care worker is accidentally jabbed by a used needle or syringe that contains HIV-positive blood. Again, this is very rare.
Thirty years ago, blood transfusions and organ donations were an especially dangerous way that some people acquired HIV. Nowadays, donated blood and organs are routinely tested.
Is Deep Kissing A Route Of Hiv Transmission
Deep or open-mouthed kissing is a very low risk activity in terms of HIV transmission. HIV is only present in saliva in very minute amounts, insufficient to cause infection with HIV. There has been only one documented case of someone becoming infected with HIV through kissing a result of exposure to infected blood during open-mouthed kissing. If you or your partner have blood in your mouth, you should avoid kissing until the bleeding stops.
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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.
Can I Get Hiv From Oral Sex
Yes, but very unlikely. Most types of oral sex carry little to no risk of HIV.
Oral sex involves giving or receiving oral stimulation to the penis , the vagina , or the anus . Most types of oral sex carry little to no risk of HIV. The highest oral sex risk is performing oral sex with ejaculation in your mouth. However, the risk is still low, and much lower than anal or vaginal sex. Factors that may increase the risk of transmitting HIV through oral sex are oral ulcers, bleeding gums, genital sores, and the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases .
The risk is lower if the partners are using condoms or dental dams, if the partner with HIV is taking antiretroviral therapy consistently and correctly, and if the partner who is HIV-negative is taking pre-exposure prophylaxis consistently and correctly. Condoms and HIV medicines can greatly lower the risk of transmitting HIV.
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How Hiv Is Transmitted
HIV is not passed on easily from one person to another. The virus does not spread through the air like cold and flu viruses.
HIV lives in the blood and in some body fluids. To get HIV, 1 of these fluids from someone with HIV has to get into your blood.
The body fluids that contain enough HIV to infect someone are:
- vaginal fluids, including menstrual blood
- breast milk
- contact with animals or insects like mosquitoes
Can You Get An Sti From Fingering
Fingering, or digital stimulation, can transmit STIs in the same way that handjobs can.
Vaginal discharge and lubrication can carry the same STIs as semen, such as HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Similar to giving a handjob, a person who fingers a vagina or anus can contract an STI if they then touch their own genitals or mouth.
In addition, if there are open wounds in the vagina or anus, and the fingers, it is possible to transmit blood-borne STIs, such as HIV and hepatitis B. The same is true for STIs that spread mainly through skin-to-skin contact, including genital herpes.
However, fingering is one of the lower-risk sexual activities. While there is an increased chance of transmitting STIs if there is broken skin in the vagina or anus and on the fingers, it is not common.
While it is possible to get any STI from manual stimulation, there are some infections that people are more likely to transmit than others this way.
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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.
How To Deal With A Sore Mouth
- Eat soft, mashed, smooth or moist foods such as avocados, squash, pumpkins, papaya, bananas, yoghurt, creamed vegetables, soups, pasta dishes and minced food.
- Add liquids to foods or soften dry food by dipping in liquids.
- Drink cold drinks, soups, vegetable and fruit juices.
- Use a straw for drinking fluids.
- If the gums are painful and brushing the teeth is not possible, rinsing the mouth with bicarbonate of soda mixed with water will make the mouth feel fresh.
- Chewing small pieces of green mango, kiwi or green papaya may help to relieve pain and discomfort.
- Drinks such as spice teas, fermented sour cabbage water or yoghurt may help to ease a sore mouth when eating is painful .
Foods and drinks to avoid
- Very spicy and salty foods such as chillies and curries.
- Acidic or very sour foods such as oranges, lemons, pineapple, vinegar and tomatoes.
- Food and drinks that are too hot or too cold. Keep food and drinks at room temperature.
- Foods that need a lot of chewing such as raw vegetables, or are sticky and hard to swallow such as peanut butter.
- If candida is diagnosed, cut down on sweet foods such as sugar, honey and sweet fruit and drinks because sugar may make the condition worse.
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What Is Pep And How Does It Prevent Hiv
PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. Its a series of pills you start taking after youve been exposed to HIV that lowers your chances of getting HIV. You have to start PEP within 72 hours , after you were exposed to HIV for it to work. The sooner you start it, the better. Every hour counts, so if you think you were exposed to HIV, call your nurse or doctor or go to the emergency room right away. PEP is only for emergencies it doesnt take the place of using condoms or PrEP. Read more about PEP.
How Hiv Infects The Body
HIV infects the immune system, causing progressive damage and eventually making it unable to fight off infections.
The virus attaches itself to immune system cells called CD4 lymphocyte cells, which protect the body against various bacteria, viruses and other germs.
Once attached, it enters the CD4 cells and uses it to make thousands of copies of itself. These copies then leave the CD4 cells, killing them in the process.
This process continues until eventually the number of CD4 cells, also called your CD4 count, drops so low that your immune system stops working.
This process may take up to 10 years, during which time you’ll feel and appear well.
Page last reviewed: 22 April 2021 Next review due: 22 April 2024
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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.
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.
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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:
Repeat After Me: You Cant Get Hiv From Food
That means Cadbury chocolates, bananas and Pepsi are not contaminated with the virus.
The internet rumor mill just wont quit. Remember those fake news stories about children getting HIV from eating Walmart bananas? Nothing but clickbait. Well, a new version of that story is making the rounds. This latest rumor makes the outlandish claim that a worker at a Cadbury candy factory was arrested for contaminating products with his HIV-positive blood and that people should therefore avoid eating the chocolates or risk contracting the virus.
This rumor is baseless on many levels. No arrests have been made nor have any warnings about contaminated products been issued, according to fact-checking website Snopes.com. In fact, the rumor is nearly identical to a previous one involving Pepsi.
More important, Snopes points out: HIV is unable to reproduce outside its living host it does not spread or maintain infectiousness outside its host. Therefore, were HIV-tainted blood to be mixed into foodstuffs or beverages, the virus would neither survive nor while it was still viable multiply and so replenish itself. And where does Snopes get its info? No less an authority than the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Now, about the rumors concerning all that sugar in a Cadbury Creme Egg? You dont need Snopes for that onejust read the nutrition labels.
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