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.
Skin To Skin Or Hair To Hair Contact
Herpes simplex can cause cold sores on the mouth and blisters on the genitals, and syphilis can cause open sores or a skin rash. If these touch a partners mouth, genitals or anus the infection may be passed on. Sometimes the infection can be passed on through skin to skin contact without there being any symptoms.
It is rare for genital warts to be passed to the mouth and lips through oral sex.
Pubic lice can be passed between pubic hair and any coarse facial hair, such as a beard.
What If My Partner Ejaculates In My Mouth
The exact risk of infection is not known. If he has an infection that can be passed on through semen or blood you are probably at more risk if he ejaculates in your mouth. The risk is probably the same whether you swallow the semen or spit it out. The more time his penis and/or semen is in your mouth, the greater the risk.
Infections passed on through semen include chlamydia, gonorrhoea, hepatitis B and HIV.
Pre-ejaculatory fluid can also carry infection, so you could be at risk if a partners pre-cum gets in your mouth, even if he doesnt ejaculate in your mouth.
If you ejaculate into a partners mouth, this does not increase the risk of an infection being passed on to you.
You May Like: How Do You Know If You Contracted Hiv
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.
First Up: What Is Semen Made Of
It’s not just sperm. As Nelson Bennett, MD, urologist at Northwestern Memorial, previously told Men’s Health, semen is 80% water. “It also contains proteins and amino acids,” Bennett said. “It has fructose and glucose , zinc, calcium, vitamin C, and a few other nutrients.”
Did someone say protein? There isn’t much of it: According to Healthline, a 2013 review of studies published in the Journal of Andrologyfound that the average protein concentration of semen is 5,040 milligrams per 100 ml. And since the average ejaculation expels roughly 5 mL of semen, that means there are roughly 252 mg of protein in a single, er, serving.
Semen also has very few calories, Dr. Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D., a research fellow at the Kinsey Institute and author of Tell Me What You Want, explained in a 2o14 blog post on swallowing semen. “Most estimates Ive seen put the number of calories in a ‘serving’ of semen somewhere between 1 and 5,” he wrote.
Recommended Reading: How Does Hiv Disable The Immune System
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
Can Sexually Transmitted Infections Be Treated
Most sexually transmitted infections are easily treated but treatment should be started as soon as possible.
Some infections, such as HIV, never leave the body and cannot be cured. There are drugs available that can reduce the symptoms and help prevent or delay the development of late stage HIV infection.
If left untreated, many sexually transmitted infections can be painful or uncomfortable, can permanently damage your health and fertility, and can be passed on to a partner.
Read Also: Can You Live With Someone With Hiv
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 .
If You Took Pep Afterward
Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, is highly effective at reducing the risk of contracting HIV from sexual activity if started within 72 hours of the possible exposure and taken consistently until finished.
How likely is this generally?
Theres no number to quantify the risk of swallowing seminal fluid.Though swallowing does increase the risk of HIV some, fellatio is considered a lower risk activity overall.
Also Check: How Do You Avoid Getting Hiv
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.
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.
You May Like: Is Pep Effective In Preventing Hiv
Can I Get Hiv Through Oral Sex
Here’s everything you want to know, and then some.
Back when I used to go to church camp, we school boys believed there were two types of virginities: the mouth and the penis . A good Christian could have as much oral sex as they wanted because they could still say they were a virgin without feeling guilty about it. Nowadays, oral sex is as common as a handshake. How the tides have changed.
Oral sex is one of the most common of sexual behaviours. Its fast, easy, and way more intimate than anal or vaginal sex youre putting your mouth all up in their junk, if thats not intimate I dont know what is. But the more we do it, the more we wonder: can we get HIV through oral sex?
The short answer is that its highly unlikely, but not impossible.
Believe it or not, HIV is not the easiest virus to get. Its passed through blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid , rectal/vaginal fluids, and breast milk. In order for it to transmit to another person it needs to be fed into their bloodstream. The main ways it does that is through mucous membranes, needles, or blood transfusions.
Mucous membranes are found inside the rectum, vagina, penis, and mouth, but theyre mostly protected through layers of tissue, that is, unless there are tears youre unaware of, or damaged tissue in plain sight.
In fact, most researchers say that the risk of transmission is near zero.
Nonetheless there are plenty of things you can do to help lower the risk if you’re still nervous. For example:
How Do You Get Gonorrhea
People usually get gonorrhea from having unprotected sex with someone who has the infection. Gonorrhea is spread when semen , pre-cum, and vaginal fluids get on or inside your genitals, anus, or mouth. Gonorrhea can be passed even if the penis doesnt go all the way in the vagina or anus.
The main ways people get gonorrhea are from having vaginal sex, anal sex, or oral sex. You can also get gonorrhea by touching your eye if you have infected fluids on your hand. Gonorrhea can also be spread to a baby during birth if the mother has it.
Gonorrhea isnt spread through casual contact, so you CANT get it from sharing food or drinks, kissing, hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, or sitting on toilet seats.
Many people with gonorrhea dont have any symptoms, but they can still spread the infection to others. So using condoms and/or dental dams every time you have sex is the best way to help prevent gonorrhea even if you and your partner seem totally healthy.
Read Also: Can Untreated Chlamydia Cause Hiv
Where Can I Go For Help And Advice About Sexually Transmitted Infections
You can get confidential help and advice, and all tests and treatments, at a genitourinary medicine or sexual health clinic. Your general practice, contraception clinics, young peoples services and some pharmacies may also provide testing for some infections. If they cant provide what you need, they should be able to give you details of the nearest service that can.
Other organisations that can offer information and advice include:
- THT Direct Information on HIV, AIDS and sexual health.
- Herpes Viruses Association Specialist advice on genital herpes.
Does It Matter If I Get Pre
HIV can be acquired through both cum and precum, though if you have healthy teeth and gums its not a problem getting it in your mouth. HIV needs an entry point to be transmitted, so you may want to avoid getting these fluids in your mouth if you have bad gingivitis, an STI in the throat or other sores in the mouth. Its recommended to wait at least half an hour after brushing or flossing your teeth as well, to keep that risk low.
You May Like: How I Found Out I Had Hiv
Can You Get Hiv From Swallowing Blood
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.
What If My Partner Has Hiv And He Ejaculates In My Mouth
If a partner is HIV positive and ejaculates in your mouth, you have a small risk of getting HIV. The risk depends on how much active HIV infection is in his bloodstream. It also depends on whether you have any cuts, sores or ulcers in your mouth or on your lips.
If you are worried after having sexual contact with an HIV positive partner, you can go to a genitourinary medicine clinic, a sexual health clinic or an A& E department. The doctor or nurse will assess your situation to see whether taking anti-HIV drugs, known as Post Exposure Prophylaxis , would be helpful for you. PEP is more effective the sooner it is used. The latest it can be given is 72 hours after the oral sex happened.
PEP is not considered necessary:
- after performing oral sex on a woman
- if there has not been ejaculation in the mouth, even if a partner is HIV positive.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Hiv Through Semen
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.
Donât Miss: How Does The Immune System Fight Hiv
Estimating The Risk Per Exposure
A satisfactory answer to the question, How high is the risk of HIV transmission through oral sex? has been notoriously elusive. Collecting reliable data is challenging for several reasons:
- Very few people report oral sex as their sole risk.
- Self-reported data on sexual behaviour are hard to collect accurately, with participants failing to report condomless anal or vaginal sex they have had.
- If a person practises any other form of unprotected intercourse in addition to unprotected oral sex, any resulting HIV infection is usually attributed to the higher risk behaviour.
- Studies have frequently grouped all oral sex practices together, often not distinguishing receptive from insertive roles, whether ejaculation occurred in the mouth, etc.
Many reports of oral transmission are in the form of isolated and anecdotal reports, rather than from observational cohorts or other studies with more rigorous follow-up.
Most cohort studies following men who only practiced oral sex, or serodiscordant couples, have tended to show very low levels of risk, in many cases approaching zero. A few studies have given higher estimates which are difficult to reconcile with the others.
Recommended Reading: Where Is Hiv Aids Most Prevalent
Tips For Safer Oral Sex
If a partner who is living with HIV has an undetectable viral load, their risk of transmitting HIV during oral sex is zero, whether they use the tips below or they do not.
If a partner living with HIV is not taking HIV drugs and/or has a detectable viral load, the chance of HIV transmission during oral sex is still low. The tips below can lower that chance even further. If you are not sure of your or your partners HIV status, and are not taking PrEP or if the partner living with HIV is not on treatment or is known to have a detectable viral load oral sex can be safer if you and/or your partner:
- get treatment for any other STIs you may have
- do not have gum disease
- wait to have oral sex until any mouth sores or genital cuts, scrapes, or sores have healed
- wait until after having oral sex to floss, brush your teeth, or do anything that could create cuts or cause bleeding in your mouth
- If you want to freshen up before oral sex, consider using a breath mint instead
What Is The Role Of Sperm In The Transmission Of Hiv Viral
Written by Mansi Kohli | Updated : January 18, 2017 10:49 AM IST
I am a 22-year-old woman from Delhi. I was in a relationship with somebody who did not disclose his HIV status till we had decided to have sex. Is it possible to get HIV from semen during the pre-cum stage?
Dr. Shelly Singh, Sr. Consultant Gynaecologist, Primus Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi answers the query.
Even though the role of sperm in the transmission of HIV viral has been a matter of great debate HIV getting infected through semen is one of the most common way of transmission. During the pre-cum stage, if a man s penis produces semen during a sexually excited phase, then also it can have HIV in it. Hence, even if the man pulls out of his partner before he ejaculates, he might leave pre-cum inside his partner further aggravating the risk of HIV. In women, the virus is mostly found in the vaginal secretion. If the vaginal body fluid comes in the contact with a man s penis during sex, then HIV can be transmitted through the delicate skin of his penis or foreskin. Taking in your partner s ejaculation, in the form of cum or pre-cum, in your mouth is most likely to cause HIV.
Read Also: Can You Get Hiv From Dried Blood