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
What Is Important For This Approach To Work
For HIV treatment to provide protection against HIV transmission, a persons viral load needs to become and remain undetectable after they start treatment.
When a person begins treatment, it usually takes three to six months for their viral load to become undetectable. Most people will eventually have an undetectable viral load if they are using HIV treatment that is effective against their strain of HIV and take it as prescribed by their doctor.
A persons viral load needs to remain undetectable for at least six months before they can use this approach as an effective HIV prevention strategy. They must continue to have high adherence to treatment to maintain an undetectable viral load over time. The only way for them to know if their viral load remains undetectable over the long term is to have regular viral load tests.
However, not everyones viral load becomes and remains undetectable on treatment. The most common reason why a persons viral load remains detectable is low adherence to their medications, but drug resistance can also occur. When treatment fails, a person wont know that their viral load is detectable until they get another viral load test. Depending on the reason the treatment failed, a person may require a change in treatment, or they may benefit from adherence counselling, to bring their viral load back down to undetectable levels. The best options for moving forward should be discussed with a doctor.
Viral Load And Hiv Transmission
A low viral load means a person is less likely to transmit HIV. But its important to note that the viral load test only measures the amount of HIV thats in the blood. An undetectable viral load doesnt mean HIV isnt present in the body.
Its also possible to transmit HIV to partners by sharing needles. Its never safe to share needles.
HIV-positive people may also want to consider having an open and honest discussion with their partner. They can ask their healthcare providers to explain viral load and the risks of HIV transmission.
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What Is Involved In The Consistent And Correct Use Of Hiv Treatment To Maintain An Undetectable Viral Load For Hiv Prevention
The consistent and correct use of HIV treatment to maintain an undetectable viral load includes:
- high adherence to medications, to achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load
- regular medical appointments to monitor viral load and receive adherence support, if needed
Regular testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections is also important because HIV treatment does not protect against STIs.
A person on HIV treatment needs to work with their doctor to determine an appropriate schedule for medical checkups and viral load monitoring.
Viral Load And Being Undetectable
Medical evidence has shown that people on effective HIV treatment;cant pass HIV;on.
Viral load is the amount of HIV in the blood.
A viral load test shows how much of the virus is in the body by measuring how many particles of HIV are in a blood sample. The results are given as the number of copies of HIV per millilitre of blood for example 200 copies/ml.
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Hiv And Your Sexual Health
If you do not know your HIV status, get tested. HIV tests are fast and easy, and they are also free at NYC Sexual Health Clinics. A positive test is an opportunity to treat HIV, stay healthy and prevent HIV transmission. A negative test gives you the chance to discuss ways to stay negative, such as using condoms or taking daily pre-exposure prophylaxis .
If you do not have HIV, PrEP can help you avoid it. PrEP is a safe and effective daily pill that prevents HIV.
If you have HIV that is undetectable, you cannot pass it through sex, even if you do not use condoms. Condoms can still help protect against other sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy.
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How Can Service Providers Improve The Uptake And Correct Use Of Hiv Treatment And An Undetectable Viral Load To Prevent The Sexual Transmission Of Hiv
Educational and counselling activities for people whether they have HIV or are at risk for HIV should include information on the HIV prevention benefits of treatment and an undetectable viral load, along with information on the other highly effective ways to help prevent HIV. These include PrEP, PEP, condoms for sex and new equipment for using drugs. Encourage clients to choose the combination of strategies that will work most effectively for them as there are multiple approaches to HIV and STI prevention that can be combined in different ways. Discuss how the use of HIV treatment to maintain an undetectable viral load fits into a comprehensive plan for sexual health including regular STI testing and safer sex practices.
Education and counselling on the use of this HIV prevention strategy should include a discussion about the large body of evidence showing that people on HIV treatment who maintain an undetectable viral load do not transmit HIV through sex. Education should also include the factors necessary for maximizing the effectiveness of this strategy. Emphasize the following:
You can also lead or support efforts to improve awareness of the use of HIV treatment to maintain an undetectable viral load as a prevention approach among a range of service providers in your area including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and non-clinical staff at community-based organizations.
At What Stage Of The Infection Can Hiv Be Transmitted
Someone with HIV can pass on the virus if they have a detectable viral load.
This often happens during the first few months after infection when the levels of the virus in their body fluids are at their highest and they may not yet have been diagnosed.
This is why testing and early diagnosis are so important ;you can start treatment right away to protect your health and reduce your viral load to undetectable levels.
If the person with HIV has a detectable viral load, the virus is free to enter the HIV negative persons bloodstream. This can happen during vaginal and anal sex .
It can also happen when an object that has body fluids on it is put inside an HIV negative person during sex.
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Being Hiv Positive And Having A Hiv Negative Baby
With the improvements in medicine if one partner is HIV negative and one is HIV positive or you are both HIV positive, you can live healthy sexual and reproductive lives, as long as meds are being taken regularly and viral suppression has occurred. If you would like to start or add to your family you can have regular sex to conceive a baby without the fear of transmission. As long as your levels of virus in your blood are undetectable!;U=U;.
What If I Miss One Dose Will My Viral Load Become Detectable Again
If you are undetectable, and have been taking your medications every day recently, your viral load will very likely stay undetectable even if you miss one dose. The HIV medications are so good these days that it can take a week or even sometimes up to several weeks or more for peoples viral loads to become detectable after medications are stopped.
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How Long Do I Need To Be On Art And Be Undetectable In Order Not To Transmit Hiv
First, being on ART and being undetectable are two different things. When you start on ART, it takes a while for the medication to do its job. Generally, if the ART is working, it should reduce the amount of virus in your blood to an undetectable level within a few months. Once you are undetectable , you then need to stay undetectable for at least six months before your HIV is considered untransmittable. In other words, you need at least two confirmatory tests that your viral load is less than 200 copies/mL at the beginning and the end of a six-month period before you can use your undetectable status as a method of HIV prevention.
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What Happens If I Stop Taking Antiretroviral Therapy
When therapy is stopped, viral load rebounds, and the risk of transmitting HIV to a sexual partner in the absence of other prevention methods returns. NIAID-supported research has provided clear-cut scientific evidence to support the benefits of staying on continuous antiretroviral treatment. In 2006, NIAIDs large clinical trial called SMART showed that people receiving intermittent antiretroviral treatment had twice the rate of disease progression compared to those receiving continuous treatment.;
Taking antiretroviral treatment daily as directed to achieve and maintain durably undetectable status stops HIV infection from progressing, helping people living with HIV stay healthy and live longer, while offering the benefit of preventing sexual transmission. Stopping and re-starting treatment can cause drug resistance to develop, making that treatment regimen ineffective and limiting future treatment options.
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This happens quite a bit: One-half of a couple is HIV-positive and the other one is HIV-negative. If they try to conceive their baby via unprotected sex, theres always the risk of the HIV-negative partner becoming infected.
Fortunately, doctors and researchers have figured out how to help couples conceive and bring a baby to term while dramatically reducing the risk of transmitting HIV to the uninfected partner or the baby.
If the man is HIV-negative and the woman is positive, this can be done by finding a way to insert the mans semen into the womans uterus while she is ovulating. Theres a fairly low-tech method using a syringe containing the mans semen. People can do this at home, and its safe. Furthermore, its impossible for the womans HIV to be transmitted to her partner this way.
A more high-tech option is to work with a fertility clinic to either insert the semen or to insert a fertilized egg. This may be the better choice if either the man or the woman has fertility problems.
Finally, the man could take PrEP, a once-daily pill, which makes it nearly impossible for him to contract HIV while trying to get his partner pregnant.
Hiv: Can You Spread It With An Undetectable Viral Load
No one knows if HIV can spread through breast milk,Even when being treated for infection and viral levels have reached an undetectable level, The CDC reviewed these data and stated that, Talk to your doctor about whats best forAuthor: Linda RathFor those who are still unsure: An HIV-positive person can achieve undetectable viral levels after undergoing antiretroviral therapy, but seeing as you have had, or TasP), treatment as prevention, It can still be contracted even if it is at such low levels it isnt detected, notably about there being effectively no risk of transmitting the virus if you are HIV positive and undetectable (a.k.a, the HIV-positive guy with an undetectable viral load undetectable thanks to meds like the ones your boyfriend is taking cant infect someone with HIV, there were no HIV transmissions between couples in the study when the HIV-positive partner was on ART and had an undetectable viral load, If HIV can be detected in semen even at low levels there may be a chance that it can be transmittedA person with HIV who is taking treatment and has an undetectable viral load cannot pass on HIV, according to results of a 304-man study, making it technically undetectable.
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About Undetectable And Hiv
Chances are youve probably heard of the term undetectable,; undetectable viral load or UVL when chatting to friends or potential sexual partners, on apps or social media, or in blogs, magazines and medical journals.
But, what does it mean?
Having an undetectable viral load not only improves a HIV positive guys overall health, but it also means he wont transmit HIV to his partners. When a HIV positive guy is on treatment, within six months he can, in most cases, achieve an UVL.
If You Swallow The Semen Of An Hiv
The risk of acquiring HIV during oral sex is pretty low, but it isn’t zero. Taking your partner’s ejaculate in your mouth appears to make transmission more likely. Almost all of the individuals who say that oral sex must have been the way they acquired HIV and whose cases have been medically evaluated mention that they took ejaculate in the mouth.
It isn’t actually the swallowing that matters, it’s probably having the ejaculate in your mouth . In the stomach, digestive enzymes and acidity may inactivate HIV.
But the risk of acquiring HIV during vaginal or anal sex is far, far higher than during oral sex. It’s also worth remembering that when a person with HIV receives antiretroviral treatment, the amount of HIV in his body fluids falls dramatically. Put simply there will be very little HIV in his semen, so transmission is highly unlikely. This applies to all forms of sex, including oral sex.
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Undetectable: Your Burning Questions Answered Get An Hiv Doctors Answers To Your Burning Questions About Undetectable Viral Loadand What It Means For Your Health And Your Sex Life
In 2013, BETA published an article about viral suppression and having an undetectable viral load. A lot has changed since the original article was published.
To keep us up-to-date, Barry Zingman, MD, the medical director of the AIDS Center at Montefiore Medical Center and professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine joins us to answer our questions about what it means to be undetectable, the risk of HIV transmission, and more.
Do I Still Need To Worry About Other Sexually Transmitted Infections
Neither HIV treatment nor PrEP prevents other sexually transmitted infections, or STIs.
Ways to reduce the risk of STIs include having both partners tested, limiting the number of sexual partners and using condoms. Vaccines are available to prevent some STIs, including hepatitis B and human papillomavirus .
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How Does Hiv Treatment And An Undetectable Viral Load Work To Prevent Hiv Transmission
HIV treatment, also called antiretroviral therapy , works by controlling the replication of HIV in the body that is, it reduces HIVs ability to make copies of itself. When HIV replication is controlled, the amount of virus in the blood and other bodily fluids decreases. Research tells us that as the amount of virus in the body decreases, so does the risk of HIV transmission. When successful treatment lowers the viral load to undetectable levels, this can reduce or even eliminate the risk of HIV transmission.
HIV treatment usually consists of a combination of three antiretroviral drugs taken daily. Newer HIV treatments are safer, simpler and more effective than when treatment was first introduced. The power of treatment today is so profound that many people who start effective treatment soon after becoming HIV positive will have a near-normal lifespan.
For most people the virus becomes so well controlled that within three to six months of starting treatment the amount of virus in their blood becomes undetectable by routinely used tests. Most viral load tests used in Canada cannot detect HIV in the blood if there are fewer than 40 to 50 copies/ml of the virus but some newer tests can detect as few as 20 copies/ml. The virus is still present in very low amounts in the body when the viral load is undetectable.
What Will Being Undetectable Mean For Me
Having an undetectable viral load means that your ART is effectively controlling your HIV. This will protect your immune system and help you to stay in good health.
Being undetectable also means that you dont have to worry about passing HIV onto your sexual partners. For many people this is just as important to them, giving them relief from the anxiety of passing HIV on. Some people find that knowing theyre undetectable makes it easier to with others, as it can be reassuring for others to know that your health is protected and you cant pass it on too.
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Hiv Tests Detect Antibodies
The tests that are used in HIV testing detect antibodies in the blood and sometimes also antigens. The commonly used HIV test is a combination test which detects both antibodies and antigens. Usually the blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. In organizations like Hivpoint it is common to use HIV rapid tests, because they are a fast and easy way to test HIV. The blood sample is taken from the fingertip and only a drop of blood is needed.; The test result is ready in 1-20 minutes, depending on the test being used. Usually rapid tests look for antibodies but some of them also detect antigens.
Its quite common to think that HIV tests detect viruses in the blood. However, that is not the case. HIV tests are developed to detect HIV antibodies. This is the reason why HIV cannot be tested right after the risk situation. It takes some time for the body to produce antibodies and it takes up to three months for the negative test result to be reliable.