Are Vampire Facials Safe
Safety concerns about vampire facials are understandable, and the facials arent without risks.
In 2018, the New Mexico Health Department closed a local spa after two cases of HIV transmission were possibly linked to vampire facials. Clients of the establishment had received injection-related procedures.
Transmission of bloodborne disease is possible if the equipment is not sterilized.
Others who visited the spa for services involving injections were urged to get tested for HIV and hepatitis.
Despite risks, vampire facials are generally safe. However, these facials arent FDA-approved.
What Is Hiv What Is Aids
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, the bodys natural defense system. Without a strong immune system, the body has trouble fighting off disease. Both the virus and the infection it causes are called HIV.
White blood cells are an important part of the immune system. HIV invades and destroys certain white blood cells called CD4+ cells. If too many CD4+ cells are destroyed, the body can no longer defend itself against infection.
The last stage of HIV infection is AIDS . People with AIDS have a low number of CD4+ cells and get infections or cancers that rarely occur in healthy people. These can be deadly.
Having HIV does not mean you have AIDS. Even without treatment, it takes a long time for HIV to progress to AIDSusually 10 to 12 years. If HIV is diagnosed before it becomes AIDS, medicines can slow or stop the damage to the immune system. With treatment, many people with HIV are able to live long and active lives.
How Does Hiv Spread
HIV spreads when infected blood, semen or vaginal fluids enter the body. Because symptoms can be mild at first, people with HIV might not know they’re infected. They can spread HIV to others without knowing it.
HIV can spread:
- during sex
- through sharing needles for injecting drugs or tattooing
HIV also can pass from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
HIV does not spread through:
- pee, poop, spit, throw-up, or sweat
- coughing or sneezing
- sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses
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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.
Ok But What About My Specific Hiv Risk Question
Over the years, we’ve receivedand our experts have answeredliterally thousands of questions from people concerned about a potential exposure to HIV. Some of them have been extremely detailedbut those details don’t change any of the basic facts about how HIV is and isn’t transmitted.
You can figure out the answer to just about every question that could possibly exist about HIV transmission by reading the rest of our article above. But let’s dive into a handful of the most common kinds of questions we’ve seen over the years:
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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.
Does Hiv Viral Load Affect Getting Or Transmitting Hiv
Yes. Viral load is the amount of HIV in the blood of someone who has HIV. Taking HIV medicine daily as prescribed can make the viral load very lowso low that a test cant detect it .
People with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.
HIV medicine is a powerful tool for preventing sexual transmission of HIV. But it works only as long as the HIV-positive partner gets and keeps an undetectable viral load. Not everyone taking HIV medicine has an undetectable viral load. To stay undetectable, people with HIV must take HIV medicine every day as prescribed and visit their healthcare provider regularly to get a viral load test. Learn more.
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Can I Infect My Unborn Child If I Am Positive
Women with HIV can transmit the virus to their fetus. However, the use of special drugs, during pregnancy and at birth, can help reduce the transmission of HIV from mother to child.
For this reason it is important that every pregnant woman takes an HIV antibody-test. Medicines that reduce the chance of infection for the child are available for all pregnant women that are HIV infected and live on St. Maarten. It does not matter if you are insured, non-insured, legal or illegal on the island. Sometimes it is advised to repeat this test later during the pregnancy. Steps to prevent HIV transmission to the baby can be taken even if very late in the pregnancy.
For additional information you can check with your doctor or Dr. van Osch at Union Road Medical Clinic. More information on HIV and pregnancy can be found here.
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.
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How Do Hiv Tests Work And What’s Involved
- There are plenty of places which offer free HIV testing you can find your nearest provider either by searching online or asking a healthcare professional.
- Testing for HIV is a simple and pain-free process. It involves giving a small sample of blood or oral fluid.
- Your results will be confidential and the healthcare provider will be able to explain the process and answer any questions you have. They are there to help you.
- HIV tests are very reliable. Some HIV tests will give a result within 20 minutes and others are sent to a lab so it may take a few weeks to get your results.
It is really common to feel a little worried about going for an HIV test, but making the decision to test is the best thing you can do for your health. The process is quick, painless, confidential and almost always free.
Contaminated Blood Transfusions And Organ/tissue Transplants
- receiving blood transfusions, blood products, or organ/tissue transplants that are contaminated with HIV. This risk is extremely small because most countries test blood products for HIV first.
If adequate safety practices are not in place, healthcare workers can also be at risk of HIV from cuts made by a needle or sharp object with infected blood on it. However, the risk of occupational exposure, is very low in most countries.
If you think you have been exposed to HIV, the only way to find out if you have HIV is to have an HIV test.
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How Could You Get Hiv From Contact With Blood
The risk of HIV transmission through blood comes when the person has a detectable viral load and their blood enters another persons body or comes into contact with a mucous membrane. These are parts of the body with wet, absorbent skin such as the:
- inside of the anus
Theres also a risk if blood from a person who has a detectable viral load comes into contact with a cut or broken skin, giving HIV a way through the skin and into someones bloodstream. If blood gets onto skin that isnt broken, there is no risk.
In a medical setting, its possible for HIV to be transmitted by someone accidentally cutting themselves with a blade or needle they have used to treat a person living with HIV.
This is called a needlestick injury. The risk of being infected in this way is very low. However, if someone thinks they have been exposed to HIV through a needlestick injury, post-exposure prophylaxis may be an option.
What Happens If You Get The Wrong Blood Type
Hemolytic transfusion reactions can cause the most serious problems, but these are rare. These reactions can occur when your ABO or Rh blood type and that of the transfused blood do not match. If this happens, your immune system attacks the transfused red blood cells. This can be life-threatening.
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Am I At Risk Of Becoming Infected With Hiv When Visiting The Doctor Or Dentist
Transmission of HIV in a health care setting is extremely rare. All health professionals are required to follow infection control procedures when caring for any patient. These procedures are called Universal Precautions for infection control. They are designed to protect both patients and health care professionals from the transmission of blood borne diseases such as Hepatitis B and HIV.
Hiv Transmission And Risk: Separating Fact From Fiction
Its much harder to transmit HIV than most people think.Thanks to years of dedicated work by scientists and researchers, we now have a solid understanding of the way HIV passes from person to person.
Unfortunately, much of our society is still clinging to harmful, outdated myths about HIV transmission.
In a recent survey, 28% of millennials and Gen Zers said they would be reluctant to hug, talk to, or even associate with someone living with HIVdespite the fact that none of those behaviors pose any risk.
Thankfully, we have good science to combat misinformation about the way HIV passes from one person to another. In this resource guide, well break down the science of HIV transmission and dispel harmful misconceptions. Well also explain why certain groups of people are more likely to be living with HIV than others, and well offer practical steps you can take to keep yourself HIV negativeor, if youre living with HIV, to prevent onward transmission of the virus.
If youre reading this guide because you were recently diagnosed with HIV, remember that you will be OK. Powerful medicines can help you live a long and healthy life. When it comes to HIV transmission, you shouldnt be afraid to hug, kiss, and touch your loved ones. You will not hurt them.
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If I Get Infected Fluid From An Hiv
No, HIV is not always passed on from someone living with HIV. There are lots of reasons why this is the case. For example, if the HIV-positive person is on effective treatment it will reduce the amount of HIV in their body. If a doctor confirms that the virus has reached undetectable levels it means there is no risk of passing it on.
If youre concerned that youve been exposed to HIV you may be eligible to take post-exposure prophylaxis , which stops the virus from becoming an infection. However its not available everywhere and has to be taken within 72 hours of possible exposure to be effective.
Its really important to take a HIV test every time you think you have been at risk of HIV.
How Can My Baby Get Hiv
Even if a mother has HIV infection but not AIDS, she can pass HIV to her baby during pregnancy, during labor, or after delivery. Most babies who get infected with HIV get the virus during labor.
If you have HIV infection, there is a 1 to 30 percent chance that you will pass HIV to your baby. The degree of risk depends on your own health and what you do to keep your baby from getting HIV.
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How Does Hiv Work
The full scientific name for HIV is human immunodeficiency virus. Its an infection that attacks the immune system, and it operates like this:
- The virus itself is shaped like a bowling ball covered in tiny spikes
- After HIV enters the bloodstream, it uses those tiny spikes to latch on to white blood cells , the bodys first line of defense against infections
- As soon as HIV gets inside white blood cells, it uses the cells own machinery to create copies of itself, creating effective camouflage that tricks the immune system into leaving it alone
- As HIV creates even more copies of itself, it hijacks a persons immune system
- A weakened immune system means that people living with untreated HIV may start to get all sorts of infections that would never normally make them sickEventually, without proper treatment, HIV leads to AIDS and becomes life-threatening
Todays anti-HIV medicines have been designed to address each stage of the infection process.
Some of these medications, which are also called antiretrovirals, stop HIVs spikes from latching on to CD4 cells. Others use different methods to stop HIV from replicating.
These drugs cant completely eradicate the virus from a persons body, but they do successfully stifle its ability to make copies of itself.
Key Points To Remember
- Getting a disease from a blood transfusion is very rare in Canada. The risk of infection from a blood transfusion is higher in less developed countries.
- If you have had many blood transfusions, your body may have formed antibodies against donated blood. Your body mistakes the new blood as harmful and tries to destroy it. Careful testing helps reduce the risk for these problems.
- There are risks from getting a blood transfusion, some related to errors with the labelling of the blood. The risk of these errors is the same whether you bank your own blood or receive donated blood.
- Your body may not have time to replace the blood you banked before the surgery. This means that you may not be able to stand losing much more blood during surgery before you’d need a transfusion. In some cases, it’s possible that you wouldn’t have needed a transfusion at all if you had not banked blood before your surgery.
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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.
Hepatitis C can survive in dried blood at room temperature for several weeks, and hepatitis B can survive in dried blood for around a week outside the body.
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.
What Can Women Do
- Talk about it. Learn the facts about HIV, and share this lifesaving information with your family, friends, and community. Let’s Stop HIV Together, part of Act Against AIDS, has many resources for raising awareness about HIV and includes many video testimonials from people living with HIV.
- Start Doing It – getting tested for HIV . Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help keep you and your partner healthy. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, get an HIV test as soon as possible.
The most effective way to prevent HIV is to abstain from sexual activity and injection drug use. However, if you are sexually active or use injection drugs, today there are more tools available to prevent HIV. You can:
- Use condoms the right way every time you have sex. Learn the right way to use a male condom or a female condom.
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What Happens When You Go For A Test
Normally, testing involves taking a small sample of blood from your finger or your arm, or an oral swab. This is where you rub the testing pen along your gums to collect cells from your mouth.
How long it takes for HIV test results to come back will depend on the type of test you are taking. If youre taking a rapid test, you will be given your results within 20 minutes. Other types of tests will be sent to a laboratory and it may take between a few days and a few weeks for you to receive a final result.
Tests these days are very reliable, but if your result comes back positive, you should have a second confirmatory test to double check your result. If this is also positive, you will get an HIV diagnosis, after which you can start treatment.
Remember, HIV treatment these days is very effective and people with HIV can live long and healthy lives just like anyone else.