How Can I Prevent Hiv Transmission And Stds During Anal Sex
Unprotected anal sex with a person who has HIV or another STD, or whose HIV or STD status you do not know, is the highest-risk sexual activity for both men and women. The walls of the anus and rectum are thin and have many blood vessels than can be injured during anal sex. Injured tissue in the anus and rectum can expose you to HIV and other STDs. Male latex condoms used with a water-based lubricant reduces the chance of tissue and skin tearing and lowers the risk of transmitting disease during anal sex. However, even with lubrication, male condoms fail more often during anal sex than during vaginal or oral sex. Female condoms should not be used for anal sex, as they do not provide adequate protection. Because use of the female condom during anal sex requires removal of the inner ring, the female condom is unlikely to stay in place during anal intercourse.
Should You Consider Preventive Medication
How quickly a person is able to see a healthcare provider after exposure to HIV can significantly affect their chances of contracting the virus.
If you believe youve been exposed to HIV, visit a healthcare provider within 72 hours. You may be offered an antiretroviral treatment called post-exposure prophylaxis that can reduce your risk of contracting HIV. PEP is typically taken once or twice daily for a period of 28 days.
PEP has little or no effect if taken more than
Risk Factors In Women
The risk of HIV from unprotected vaginal sex is higher among women for a number of reasons. From a physiological standpoint, the tissues of the vagina are far more susceptible to HIV than those of the penis.
HIV is able to pass through these tissues when the immune system recognizes the invading virus and send defensive cells to “grab and drag” them through the lining to be destroyed.
Instead, HIV turns the table and attacks the very cells meant to help neutralize them. By doing so, the body helps facilitate its own infection. And, because the surface area of the vaginal epithelium is far greater than that of the male urethra, the opportunity for infection is increased, often exponentially.
Other physiological vulnerabilities include:
While the daily use of an HIV drug called pre-exposure prophylaxis can dramatically decrease the risk of HIV in an uninfected partner, there is evidence that works less well in women. Research published in 2016 suggests the level of the active drug molecule in vaginal tissue isn’t near as high as in rectal tissue.
None of this, of course, takes into account any of the social vulnerabilities that can place women at increased risk. These include sexual violence in relationships which not only steals a woman’s chance for self-protection but can result in damage to delicate vaginal tissue.
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How To Be Safe When Coming Into Contact With Infected Blood
A condom will act as a barrier against any contact with blood during sex.
As well as sex, sharing equipment for injecting drugs is a way blood can get into someones body. This can be avoided by using fresh needles and not sharing needles, syringes and other equipment.
If a woman has HIV, her menstrual blood also carries a risk of transmission if she has a detectable viral load.
If youre HIV negative and taking pre-exposure prophylaxis youll be protected against getting HIV if you come into contact with infectious blood.
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When I First Start Taking The Medication How Many Days Do I Have To Take The Medication In Order For It To Protect Me From An Hiv Exposure
The PrEP medication must reach and maintain a certain level in the blood and the bodys mucus membranes to provide protection. The amount of time it takes may vary from person to person. For people taking daily PrEP who engage in anal intercourse, the medication must be taken each day for 7 days to reach the level needed for full protection. Cis-gender MSM who are taking on-demand PrEP, must take two pills, 2-24 hours before having sex. For the receptive partner in vaginal intercourse, it takes approximately 20 days of taking the medication consistently to reach the level of full protection in the female genital tract. This is why cis-gender women and transgender men who have receptive vaginal intercourse should not take on-demand PrEP. People of transgender experience should talk with their healthcare provider about their specific sexual practices to best determine the length of time it will take to be fully protected.
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How Do I Protect Myself From Hiv
There are a number of ways you can protect yourself from HIV, including:
- using a condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex
- in some countries PrEP is available. This is a course of HIV drugs which if taken consistently as advised by your healthcare professional prevents HIV infection through sex
- avoiding sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment
- taking HIV treatment if you are a new or expectant mother living with HIV, as this will dramatically reduce the risk of passing HIV to your baby during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding
- asking your healthcare professional if the blood product you are receiving has been tested for HIV
- taking precautions if you are a healthcare worker, such as wearing protection , washing hands after contact with blood and other bodily fluids, and safely disposing of sharp equipment
- if you think you have been exposed to HIV you may be able to access PEP, a 4-week course of ARV drugs taken after possible HIV exposure to prevent HIV infection. You must start PEP within 72 hours of possible exposure to be effective.
For more detailed information on how to prevent HIV infection visit the relevant page from the listed below:
How To Protect Yourself
Since there is still a chance that you could get infected with HIV through oral sex, you should always take precautions. Here is what you can do to lower your risk:
Do not let a male partner ejaculate in your mouth. You can do this if you remove your mouth from their penis before they ejaculate, or if you use a condom.
Use a condom or dental dam. A dental dam is a thin square piece of latex or silicone that you place over the vagina or anal area during oral sex. You can also cut a latex condom lengthwise and use it the same way.
Both of these barriers also lower the risk of infection from other STDs such as gonorrhea of the throat or hepatitis. Use a new one every time you have oral sex. Check the expiration date on the package, and make sure there are no tears or defects.
Don’t use oil-based products like baby oil, lotion, petroleum jelly, or cooking oil on condoms or dental dams because that can cause them to break. If you need lubrication, use a water-based or silicone-based product instead. Always use a condom or dental dam during your period since the virus can be present in menstrual blood.
Don’t brush your teeth just before oral sex. If you do, your mouth or gums may bleed, which raises chances of infection.
Skip oral sex during risky times. This includes a time when you have sores around your mouth, genitals, or anus , gum damage, a throat infection, or after dental work.
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No 2 Having Anal Sex : 1 In 72
The receptive partner is 13 times more likely to be infected with HIV than the insertive partner, according to the CDC. Thats because the virus found in blood, semen, preseminal fluid , and rectal fluids can more easily enter the receptive persons body through the thin lining of the rectum.
- Reduce the risk. If the insertive partner has HIV, using a condom during receptive anal sex can help reduce the risk of transmission by an average of 72 percent, according to the CDC. Water- or silicone-based lubricants can help lessen the chance that the condom will break.
How To Prevent The Spread Of Hiv
People living with HIV can use the following to prevent transmitting it to others:
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis : This is a daily pill that contains two antivirals called tenofovir and emtricitabine. When a person takes it daily, PrEP can reduce the risk of acquiring HIV through sex by
- of a recent potential HIV exposure.
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Hiv Treatment As Prevention
People with HIV can take ART to lower their chance of transmitting HIV to others.
ART reduces the quantity of HIV in the body, or viral load, and keeps it at a low level.
The term viral load refers to the number of HIV copies per milliliter of blood.
Healthcare professionals define successful viral suppression as having a viral load of less than of HIV per milliliter of blood. Achieving and maintaining viral suppression significantly reduces the risk of HIV transmission.
Other ways to prevent HIV transmission include:
- using a condom or other barrier method during sex
- reducing the number of sexual partners
- getting vaccinated against other STIs, such as HPV and hepatitis B
- avoiding using injectable drugs, if possible
- if using injectable drugs, avoiding sharing needles and syringes
- following all workplace safety protocols
People can speak with a doctor to learn more about their individual risk of contracting HIV.
Anyone concerned about HIV exposure should contact a healthcare professional or a local emergency room to get testedand receive PEP.
How Can I Prevent Hiv Transmission And Stds During Oral Sex
Although oral sex presents less of a risk for HIV and some STDs than vaginal or anal sex, the risk still exists. Herpes is commonly passed between genitals and the mouth, and you can get a bacterial infection in your mouth or throat from an STD. The risk of HIV transmission through oral sex is low, but people have been infected this way. Oral sex can be made safer by using a latex barrier. For oral sex performed on a man, a non-lubricated condom is recommended. For oral sex performed on a woman, a dental dam , a non-lubricated condom that is cut open or a plastic wrap can be used to cover the vagina. Oral-anal sex is a high-risk activity that may be made safer by using a dental dam.
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What Are My Chances Of Contracting Hiv
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What is HIV?
Human immunodeficiency virus attacks and weakens the immune system, making an individual more vulnerable to serious illness. Untreated HIV can lead to AIDS, which occurs when the immune system is so weak it becomes susceptible to serious infections and some cancers.
Theres an epidemic of HIV in the United States and around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , more than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and 1 in 7 of them arent aware of it. An estimated 39,782 people in the country were diagnosed with HIV in 2016 alone.
HIV transmission occurs in many different ways, including through condomless sex and by sharing needles. Risk of transmission varies depending on several factors including:
- sexual practices and the HIV status of sexual partners
- sharing needles for drug use or tattoos
- use of PrEP, PEP, condoms, or having an undetectable viral load
Its important to understand the risk level based on actual factors in preventing the transmission of HIV.
How Can I Prevent Hiv Transmission And Stds During Vaginal Sex
HIV is spread during vaginal sex when HIV-infected semen, vaginal fluid or menstrual blood comes into contact with the mucous membranes of the vagina or penis. Some STDs are spread the same way as HIV. Other STDs are transmitted through contact with infected skin or mucous membranes. In general, since there is more mucous membrane area in the vagina, and a greater possibility of small cuts in the vagina, women are more likely than men to get infected with HIV and some STDs through unprotected vaginal sex. Teenagers and women entering menopause are at especially high risk for getting HIV and other STDs because the tissue lining the vagina is more fragile at these ages. Cuts or sores on the penis or vagina raise the risk of HIV infection and STDs during vaginal sex for both men and women. Using a latex male condom or a female condom lowers your risk of getting HIV and STDs through vaginal sex.
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Strategies To Reduce Risk
As with any other mode of HIV transmission, prevention requires a combination of strategies to more effectively:
- Reduce the infectivity of the HIV-positive partner
- Reduce the susceptibility of the HIV-negative partner
Current evidence has shown that the consistent use of antiretroviral therapy in the HIV-infected partner completely eliminates the risk of HIV transmission when viral activity is suppressed to undetectable levels.
The effectiveness of the strategy known as Treatment as Prevention , is evidenced by the PARTNER1 and PARTNER2 studies in which not a single HIV infection occurred among 1,770 gay and heterosexual mixed-status couples despite engaging condomless anal or vaginal sex.
The studies, which ran from 2010 to 2018, showed unequivocally that undetectable equals untransmittable in a real-world setting.
The use of pre-exposure prophylaxis , whereby the uninfected partner is prescribed a daily dose of the HIV drug Truvada, can also reduce risk. Studies have shown that when taken daily, PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99%.
Although these figures may suggest that condoms are no longer needed, neither TasP nor PrEP can prevent other sexually transmitted diseases.
Moreover, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , only 59.8% of Americans with HIV are able to achieve an undetectable viral load. Without complete viral suppression, TasP is rendered useless, placing the uninfected partner at risk.
Tattoos And Body Piercings
- There are no known cases in the United States of anyone getting HIV this way.
- However, it is possible to get HIV from tattooing or body piercing if the equipment used for these procedures has someone elses blood in it or if the ink is shared. This is more likely to happen when the person doing the procedure is unlicensed because of the potential for unsanitary practices such as sharing needles or ink.
- If you get a tattoo or a body piercing, be sure that the person doing the procedure is properly licensed and that they use only new or sterilized needles, ink, and other supplies.
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Is There Anything You Can Do To Reduce Your Risk Of Contracting It
If youve potentially already been exposed, then taking PEP is the only way to reduce your risk from that exposure.
PEP or post-exposure prophylaxis is an emergency prescription for people who are HIV-negative who may have been exposed to HIV.
Its a 28-day course of anti-HIV medication that can reduce the risk of contracting HIV by as much as when started within 72 hours of possible exposure and taken as directed.
You can get the medication at your nearest clinic or emergency department.
Yes, but keep in mind that not everyone shows symptoms in the early stages of an HIV infection. The only way to know for sure if you contracted HIV is to get tested.
In the first two to four weeks after infection, two-thirds of people experience flu-like symptoms.
See your doctor if you experience any of the following after a possible exposure:
If theres a chance youve been exposed to HIV, a convo with your other current or potential partners is a must until you get your results.
To help make the talk a little easier:
- Pick a time and place that you can talk freely without interruptions.
- Keep it simple and to the point.
- Be prepared with information and resources that can help answer their questions about their risk level and options for prevention.
- Be ready for the possibility that they may not take it well, and try not to take their reaction personally.
Theres a lot you and your partner can do to reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
How Often Do Condoms Break
Figures for the frequency of condoms breaking, slipping off or leaking vary widely between studies. In Sanders review , between 0.8 and 41% of participants had ever experienced a condom breaking. While a few studies report much higher rates, the breakage rate per sexual act in most studies was between 0 and 4%.
For example, a recent American study of 8603 men who have sex with men found that 4% of participants reported a condom breaking the last time they used one. There was no difference between men reporting receptive or insertive sex, but younger men, men who had more sexual partners and men who were high when they had sex were more likely to experience a breakage.
Up to a third of men report problems with the fit and feel of condoms, which are in turn associated with condoms breaking or slipping off. Choosing a condom that is an appropriate size for the penis reduces the risk of breakage.
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What Should I Do If I Need To Clean Up Blood
HIV does not usually survive long outside of the body, but contact with blood should be avoided.
To clean up blood that has been spilled, wear rubber gloves and mop up the liquid using bleach and warm water . Use warm, soapy water to clean away blood spilled on someones body.
Put the waste, used gloves and bloodied clothes in a plastic bag, seal and throw away.