Can I Take Pep Every Time I Have Unprotected Sex
PEP is only for emergency situations. It is not the right choice for people who may be exposed to HIV frequently – for example, if you often have sex without a condom with a partner who is HIV-positive. In that case, you should talk to your health care provider about whether PrEP would be right for you.
How Can I Protect Myself
To protect yourself from getting infected with HIV, you can use protection or practice abstinence. Being faithful to one partner can also reduce your risk of getting HIV. However, you can get HIV with only one partner if the partner is unfaithful and having unprotected sex.
Other methods of protection include taking antiretroviral drugs, male circumcision, and vaccination.
Using condoms is the most effective method of protection against HIV and sexually transmitted infections. It also helps prevent unwanted pregnancies.
- They are very effective if used properly and this means using a condom that fits properly.
- To ensure that you are using a condom in the right way, here are a few basic things you can do:
- Every time you have intercourse, use a new condom.
- Put on a condom before any kind of sexual contact, whether it may be vaginal, oral or anal.
- Avoid using baby oil, vaseline or any other oil-based lubricant as it can cause the condom to break or split.
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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What Do We Know About Touching
Theres extremely low to no risk for getting or transmitting HIV from touching. The only possible risk would be if body fluids from a partner with HIV touch the mucous membranes or damaged tissue of someone whos HIV-negative. Mucous membranes can be found inside the rectum, the vagina, the opening of the penis, and the mouth. Damaged tissue could include a cut, sore, or open wound.
Theres a chance of getting or transmitting other sexually transmitted diseases through touching because some STDs can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact.
You could also get or transmit other kinds of infections, like hepatitis A and hepatitis B virus parasites like Giardia and bacteria such as Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter, or E. coli if you touch someones anus because you may get feces on your hands or fingers.
Know The Risk Level Of Different Types Of Sex
Anal sex increases the chances of HIV more than any other type of sex. There are two types of anal intercourse. Receptive anal sex, or being on bottom, is when a partners penis penetrates the anus. Receptive anal sex without a condom is considered the highest risk sexual activity for acquiring HIV.
Being on top during sex is known as insertive anal sex. Insertive anal sex without a condom is another way of contracting HIV. However, the risk of acquiring HIV this way is lower compared to receptive anal sex.
Engaging in vaginal sex has a lower risk of HIV transmission than anal sex, but its still important to protect oneself through methods such as correct condom usage.
Although extremely rare, its possible to contract HIV through performing oral sex. Using a condom or latex barrier during oral sex may also reduce the risk of contracting other STIs. Another option is to avoid oral sex in the presence of genital or oral ulcers.
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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.
Does Being Durably Undetectable Mean That The Virus Has Left My Body
Even when viral load is undetectable, HIV is still present in the body. The virus lies dormant inside a small number of cells in the body called viral reservoirs. When therapy is halted by missing doses, taking a treatment holiday or stopping treatment, the virus emerges and begins to multiply, becoming detectable in the blood again. This newly reproducing virus is infectious. It is essential to take every pill every day as directed to achieve and maintain a durably undetectable status.
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Hiv Treatment As Prevention
Treatment as prevention refers to taking HIV medication to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV. It is one of the highly effective options for preventing HIV transmission. People living with HIV who take HIV medication daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners.
TasP works when a person living with HIV takes HIV medication exactly as prescribed and has regular follow-up care, including regular viral load tests to ensure their viral load stays undetectable.
Testing Positive On Hiv Antibody Tests
Since the early days of the HIV epidemic, we have used antibody tests to test for HIV. Antibody tests are the most affordable and accessible HIV tests. They are the most common types of HIV tests at testing sites around the world because they provide rapid, on-the-spot results.
Antibody tests do not detect HIV. Instead, they detect antibodies that the immune system produces in response to HIV infection.
WHAT ARE ANTIBODIES?
Our immune systems develop antibodies in response to all kinds of pathogens. Anytime you get sick or get any kind of infection, your body builds up a defense system and creates antibodies to try and fight that specific infection off. If these antibodies are successful, some infections will go away but the antibodies never do. They will remain in your body, helping to protect you from getting the same infection in the future.
In this way, antibodies allow our bodies to remember a specific infectious agentlike a particular strain of the fluand then respond to it more quickly if exposed to it again in the future. Once we develop antibodies to a virus we may have those antibodies for life or for many years.
HIV ANTIBODIES WHEN YOURE UNDETECTABLE
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Isnt Hiv Only A Risk For Certain Groups Of People
Like most illnesses, HIV doesnt discriminate between types of people and the infection can be passed on to anyone via one of the ways mentioned above.
Some people are more vulnerable to HIV infection if they engage regularly in certain activities that are more likely to transmit the virus. However, its a common misunderstanding that HIV only affects certain groups.
While not everyone has the same level of HIV risk, everyone can reduce their risk of infection.
Can You Get Hiv Through Oral Sex
The risk of HIV from oral sex is very small unless you or your partner have large open sores on the genital area or bleeding gums/sores in your mouth.
There is only a slightly increased risk if a woman being given oral sex is HIV-positive and is menstruating. However, you can always use a dental dam to eliminate these risks.
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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.
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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Can My Viral Load Continue To Change
Yes, your viral load can continue to change. This would usually be a result of factors to do with your adherence , or other health issues. Regular viral load monitoring will help you stay on top of these changes, so you can manage your health accordingly.
Your viral load usually drops quickly after first starting treatment, however it may be a while before it reaches a point where its undetectable. Most people who adhere properly to their treatment become undetectable after about six months, but its important that you have a viral load test to confirm this.
While changes to viral load can occur, they should be relatively uncommon for people who adhere properly to their medication and are otherwise in good health. Your viral load monitoring appointments are there to help you to identify and respond to any changes in your viral load.
These appointments also give you time to discuss any difficulties you are having with your medication. Often big life changes, like starting a new relationship or moving to a new place, can make adherence more difficult. Your healthcare worker can help you with any new challenges and work with you to stay healthy and keep your viral load low.
How Would I Pay For Prep
Medicaid will cover the cost of PrEP without co-pays. This includes the medication, medical appointments and lab tests associated with PrEP. Many health insurance plans with prescription drug coverage also cover all costs associated with PrEP without co-pays. For people without access to health insurance with prescription drug coverage, a number of options for financial assistance are available. If you need information about financial assistance options for PrEP, visit the NYSDOH website.
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Meds Prevent Hiv Transmission With Unprotected Sex
Study suggests transmission risk is low if infected person adheres to treatment
For gay couples in the same scenario, the risk seems to be only slightly higher.
The Danish study had some major limitations. It only tracked couples for up to two years, and there’s no way to know if the risk of HIV transmission will grow over time as couples age. Also, the HIV-positive participants were almost always careful to take their medication.
And at least one AIDS prevention expert expressed some caution about the study’s conclusions.
Still, “it is really great news for patients and their partners,” said HIV specialist Dr. Jared Baeten, vice chair of global health at the University of Washington in Seattle. He was not involved with the study but is familiar with the findings.
“For so long, patients have really cared deeply about the chance they would transmit this virus to people they love. What’s very reassuring about this study, and the bulk of information from other studies, is that people who have HIV and are on treatment appear to have an incredibly low chance of passing on the virus,” Baeten said.
About two-thirds of the couples were heterosexual and the rest were gay males. The average age of those in all couples was 42 years.
What We Know About Less Common Ways That You Can Get Hiv From Syringe Use
The risk for getting or transmitting HIV is very high if an HIV-negative person , other injection equipment with someone who has HIV. Its also possible to get HIV from tattooing or body piercing if the equipment has someone elses blood in it or if the ink is shared. The risk of getting HIV from tattooing or body piercing is higher when the person doing the procedure doesnt have a license. That person may be more likely to use unsafe practices like sharing syringes or ink. There are no known cases in the United States of anyone getting HIV this way.
More Information On average, an HIV-negative person has a 1 in 420 chance of getting HIV from a needlestick if the needle or syringe contains HIV-infected blood.
More InformationThere may be extremely tiny amounts of blood in syringes or works that you may not be able to see, but could still carry HIV. Be aware that HIV can survive in a used syringe for up to 42 days depending on temperature and other factors.
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What Are Hiv Symptoms
A day or two after getting infected, the HIV virus is detectable in the regional lymphatic tissue. Within 6 days,it can be found in the regional lymph nodes.
After 2 weeks, it is possible to detect the virus in the nervous system and pretty much in the entire body.
Once the virus replicates itself in the body, you may start to see symptoms in about 6 weeks.
Symptoms may include:
- Herpes simplex recurrent
- Tinea infections.
These symptoms can last up to 6 weeks or less. However, these symptoms are not specific to HIV. There are other virus infections that have similar symptoms such as influenza. The only way to eliminate HIV as the cause is by going for a test.
How To Reduce The Risk
Although the risk of HIV passing to another person through oral sex is low, people can take steps to reduce it further.
For example, people with HIV can avoid ejaculating in the mouth of their sexual partner. They can do this by using a condom or withdrawing the penis before ejaculation.
A dental dam is another option. This is a small latex or silicone sheet that a person places over the vagina, anus, or mouth during sex.
Flossing or brushing the teeth can cause the gums to bleed, so it might also help to avoid this right before sexual activity.
People without HIV can take additional steps to avoid transmission, including:
- taking pre-exposure prophylaxis medication beforehand
- using condoms or dental dams correctly during all sexual activities
- avoiding lubricants with an oil base, such as Vaseline or baby oil
- taking post-exposure prophylaxis within a couple of days after the sexual contact
- getting regular sexual health checkups
People with HIV should take antiretroviral medication exactly as their doctor recommends.
In the early stages of HIV, people might experience:
- a fever
- rashes that are not itchy
- aching muscles
- swollen glands, or lymph nodes
- oral sores
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Who Should Consider Taking Prep
PrEP is for people without HIV who are at very high risk for getting it. This includes:
Gay/bisexual men who:
- Have an HIV-positive partner
- Have multiple partners, a partner with multiple partners, or a partner whose HIV status is unknown and
- Have anal sex without a condom OR
- Have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease in the last 6 months
Heterosexual men and women who:
- Have an HIV-positive partner
- Have multiple partners, a partner with multiple partners, or a partner whose HIV status is unknown and
- Don’t always use a condom when having sex with people who inject drugs OR
- Don’t always use a condom when having sex with bisexual men
People who inject drugs and:
- Share needles or other equipment to inject drugs OR
- Are at risk for getting HIV from sex
If you have a partner who is HIV-positive and are considering getting pregnant, talk to your health care provider about PrEP. Taking it may help protect you and your baby from getting HIV infection while you try to get pregnant, during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding.
Can Analingus Result In Hiv Transmission
For this answer, we turn back to Bob Frascino, M.D.:
“Although there have been no documented cases of acquiring HIV from rimming or being rimmed, there are a number of other significant STIs that can easily be transmitted through rimming, including hepatitis A, herpes, and intestinal parasites. You can decrease the risk by using a dental dam barrier .
“As for whether to rim or not, only you can decide what level of risk you are willing to take. At least now you have the facts.”
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What Does Undetectable Equals Untransmittable Mean
U=U is the name of a public health campaign that has really taken off in the last year and is accepted and endorsed by organizations worldwide. It shares the message that people who are undetectable do not transmit HIV to other people.
This campaign promotes key medical information that is important for people living with HIV to know, but it is also an important concept that reduces HIV stigma in the community. The phrase really encompasses an idea that people who are living with HIV can be free from HIV stigma, and can live their lives more fully, with less fear, worry, and inhibition.