How Is Hiv Transmitted
HIV is transmitted between humans through the exchange of certain types of bodily fluids. Bodily fluids that can transmit HIV include blood, semen, breast milk, and vaginal fluids .
Not all body fluids can transmit HIV. The following cannot transmit HIV:
- Exchanging saliva, like through closed-mouth kissing or sharing drinks/utensils
- Coming in contact with an HIV positive personâs tears, sneezes, or sweat
- Ordinary physical contact, such as hugging, hand shaking, or touching shared objects like cutlery, cups, or toilet seats .
- Air or water
- Pets and insects cannot carry the virus and infect you, because transmission of HIV is only between humans .
While care needs to be taken in some situationsâlike when having sex or when open injuries are presentâthis certainly does not mean that it is unsafe to be around people with HIV. Think of how you interact with the vast majority of peopleâbodily fluids are not exchanged. Harboring discriminatory thoughts only perpetuates a fearful stigma against someone with HIV, which only hurts the person who has it.
HIV is often transmitted through sexual activity and drug use in adults in the United States . Maternal transmissionâfrom mother to childâis how the infection is spread to infants .
Hiv And Maternal Transmission
HIV can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or through breastfeeding. If left untreated throughout these stages, there is a 15-45% chance of an HIV positive mother transmitting the virus to their child . However there are treatment options to prevent this from happening.
If pregnancy occurs and there has been potential HIV exposure, ask a healthcare provider about getting tested for HIV as early as possible. Taking medications called antiretroviral therapy as prescribed can reduce the viral load so that the baby has a very low chance of contracting HIV .
A person with HIV should not breastfeed their child, as breast milk can transmit HIV. Even if a person is taking ART and their viral loads are undetectable, they should still not breastfeed.
Challenges In Calculating A Number
It isnt easy for researchers to calculate the risk of transmission from an exposure to HIV through sex. To do this effectively, a group of HIV-negative individuals need to be followed over time and their exposures to HIVboth the number of times they are exposed and the types of exposureneed to be tracked.
As you can imagine, accurately tracking the number of times a person is exposed to HIV is very difficult. Researchers ask HIV-negative individuals enrolled in these studies to report how many times they have had sex in a given period of time, what type of sex they had, how often they used condoms and the HIV status of their partner. Because a person may have trouble remembering their sexual behaviour or may not want to tell the whole truth, this reporting is often inaccurate.
Furthermore, a person does not always know the HIV status of their partner. For this reason, researchers usually enroll HIV-negative individuals who are in stable relationships with an HIV-positive partner . Researchers can then conclude that any unprotected sex reported by a study participant counts as an exposure to HIV.
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Be Aware Of Potential Symptoms For Hiv And Other Stis
Being in the know about potential STI symptoms is important for anyone whos sexually active.
See a healthcare professional if you notice any of these:
- unusual discharge from the anus, penis, or vagina
- unusual vaginal bleeding, like bleeding after sex or between periods
- burning or pain when peeing
- frequent or urgent need to pee
- sores, bumps, or blisters on or around your genitals or anus
- rash on or around your genitals or anus
- genital itching
Other Types Of Transmission
In the past, HIV was spread by transfusion with blood products, such as whole blood or the “factor” used by hemophiliacs. Many people acquired HIV this way. The blood supply is now much more strictly tested and controlled in most countries. The odds of acquiring HIV from receiving blood or blood factor in countries like the US, the UK, and Canada are extremely low. For example, statistics from the US show that a person is more likely to be killed by a lightning strike than they are to acquire HIV from a blood transfusion. However, not every country screens all blood donations for HIV.
It is also possible to get HIV from skin grafts or transplanted organs taken from people living with HIV. Again, the risk is considered very low, as these “body products” must be strictly tested in the same way as blood products. Semen donations collected by sperm banks for artificial insemination are also considered “bodily products” and rigorously tested in high-resource countries. Private semen samples that are not processed by sperm banks or similar organizations may not have been tested. It is important for anyone receiving a private donor’s sperm for artificial insemination to have the donor tested for HIV.
If you are getting breast milk from a milk bank, it is important to ask if the bank tests the milk for HIV. Also, if your baby is getting breast milk from a wet nurse, it is important to make sure that she tests negative for HIV before giving her milk to your baby.
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Risk By Sexual Activity
When discussing HIV risk, people often try to ascertain which “type” of sex is riskier vaginal, anal, or oral. From a purely statistical standpoint, anal sex is considered the highest risk activity with an almost 18-fold greater risk of infection compared to vaginal sex.
But this assessment is somewhat misleading, at least from an individual perspective. While vaginal sex may pose a lower risk comparatively, the figures neither take into account the way in which the disease is distributed between men and women nor the vulnerabilities which place some individuals at extremely high risk of infection.
Women are three to four times more likely to get HIV from men than the other way around. A young woman is more likely to get HIV from her first sexual encounter than her male partner.
There are some men who are far more likely to get HIV than others. Studies have shown, for example, that uncircumcised men are more than twice as likely to get HIV after vaginal sex than circumcised men.
Vulnerabilities vary by individual, so assessing the real risk of vaginal sex requires a better understanding of the factors that place some women and men at greater risk than others.
Telling Your Sex Partners
This may be one of the hardest things you have to do. But you need to tell your sex partner that you are living with HIV, whether you have a primary partner such as a spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend, have more than one partner, or are single or casually dating.
What follows are tips for talking to your main partner, other partners, and former partners.
Talking to your main partner
If you are in a relationship, one of the first things you will probably think about after learning that you have HIV is telling your partner or partners. For some couples, a positive HIV test may have been expected. For others, the news will be a surprise that can be difficult.
Your partner may not be prepared to offer you support during a time when you need it. Your partner may be worrying about their own HIV status. On the other hand, if you think you may have contracted HIV from your partner, you are probably dealing with your own feelings.
Unless your partner is known to have HIV infection, they should get an HIV test right away. Don’t assume that the results will come back positive, even if you have been having unprotected sex or sharing needles. Your partner may assume the worst and may blame you for possibly spreading the disease. It is important that you discuss these feelings with each other in an open and honest way, perhaps with a licensed counselor.
Talking to new partners
Talking to former partners
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Transmission From Mother To Child During Pregnancy
Babies do not have sexual contact, but still get HPV from their infected moms. In fact, a pregnant mother with HPV can pass the virus on to her child during birth. But, the chances of that happening are very low. And, even if your child gets HPV, their body can eliminate the virus on its own. In rare cases, a mother with genital warts can pass the infection on to their child. As a result, the child may get warts in their throat.
You can still have HPV without having sex, such as by kissing and more. Although the infection is common, it can lead to serious health problems if untreated. So, if you have HPV, consult a doctor for appropriate treatment. Usually, HPV causes warts on the human skinand sometimes lead to discomfort. To get rid of warts, you can use topical antiviral medications. Vidarox is one of the best antiviral, natural creams for genital warts. It can help remove the warts and prevent them from coming back. Many sufferers also use Vidarox to stop the spreading of HPV infections. You can buy it at some drugstores or even online. To avoid getting HPV, watch out for the above ways of transmission. Besides, practice safe sex and avoid skin contact with infected people.
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
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What Puts You At Risk For Stds And Hiv
You’re at risk if you:
- Have sex without using a condom, with someone who is infected.
- Have had an STD.
- Have more than one sex partner.
- Are under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
- Many women have STDs without having symptoms. This means that unless she gets tested, she may have an STD and not know it.
- Young women are getting HIV or an STD because the tissue lining the vagina is more fragile.
If you are a woman, take charge of your sexual health. Be sure to schedule pelvic exams and pap smears every year. Get tested and learn how to protect yourself from STDs and HIV.
Viral Load & Medications
If someone has HIV, this does not mean that they are restricted to celibacy. Many people with HIV still continue to have safe, enjoyable sex lives without spreading the virus. Always using a condom or barrier method is an important first step to prevent the sharing of HIV containing fluids.
Antiretroviral therapy : Another way to help decrease the risk of spreading HIV is to lower a personâs viral loadâthe amount of HIV in a personâs blood. Viral loads can be lowered using medications called antiretroviral therapy . These medications can lower the HIV viral load so much that HIV may not even be detectable on a blood testâthis is called an undetectable viral load . When a person’s viral load in undetectable, they have effectively no risk of transmitting the HIV virus to a non-infected partner . Taking these medication will help keep a person with HIV healthy while also helping prevent the spread of HIV to another person. This is not a cure, however. If medication is taken incorrectly or stopped, HIV viral loads will increase again and transmission can occur. Condoms and other barrier methods should still always be used during sex .
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Against All Odds: What Are Your Chances Of Getting Hiv In These Scenarios
Playing the HIV numbers game is lessand morerisky than you think.
EDITORS NOTE: Although the underlying ideas and messages in this article remain relevant, much HIV prevention research has been published since 2014, notably about there being effectively no risk of transmitting the virus if you are HIV positive and undetectable , as well as the effectiveness of pre-exposure prophylaxis . Go to #Prevention, #Undetectable, #TasP and #PrEP for the latest related updates.
Theres not a lot of certainty in these numbers. But they can be a good tool for understanding risk.
During sex, our risk perception is replaced by love, lust, trust and intimacy.
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What Is Hiv And What Is Aids
HIV/AIDS are widely known as incurable sexually transmitted diseases, but you might not know the difference between these acronyms and what they stand for.
For simplicityâs sake, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
If a person takes a blood test and receives a diagnosis of HIV, then they are HIV positiveâif a person does not have HIV, then they are HIV negative. HIV causes havoc in a personâs body by weakening their immune system . HIV progressively destroys the cellular part of the immune systemâparticularly types of white blood cells called CD4 cellsâwhich, over time, makes the person become immunodeficient .
As the HIV infection develops in the body, the person will become more and more immunodeficient until they reach a point where they are classified as having Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome . This is often the end stage of an HIV infection, where a personâs body is so immunodeficient that they develop infections, diseases, or cancers and are no longer able to mount a immune defense and fight them off .
There is no cure for HIV . But, if a person does become infected with HIV there are treatments available which can help keep a person healthy.
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How Do You Get Hiv From Sex
HIV is transmitted through semen , vaginal fluid, blood, and anal mucus. During sex without a condom the bodily fluids from one person can pass into the body of their sexual partner. This can happen through the mucous membranes of the penis, vagina and rectum, or sores in the mouth and throat.
You can only get HIV from someone who is living with HIV and has a detectable viral load.
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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A Word From Same Day Std Testing
Because STDs are so misunderstood, its possible to contract and then spread one without even realizing it. As such, all individuals should understand the risks STDs present, as well as their common symptoms. If youve experienced any of these symptoms whether youre sexually active or not make sure to visit a testing center near you to get tested ASAP. Or, if youre unsure at all, call us directly here . One of our representatives will be happy to answer any questions you have and help you take the appropriate steps to ensure your health. At Same Day, were working to take the stress and anxiety out of STD testing, which is why our facilities our designed to protect your privacy.
Be Aware Of Potential Symptoms
If you have sex, knowing what symptoms could indicate an STI is a must.
See a healthcare professional if you notice any of the following:
- unusual discharge from the anus, penis, or vagina
- changes in urination, like pain or burning, frequency, or urgency
- sores, warts, or blisters on or around your genitals or anus
- unusual vaginal bleeding, like after sexual activity or between periods
- genital itching
Are certain activities higher risk?
Penis-in-anus sex is the riskiest, especially for the receptive partner because the rectums lining is thin, making it easier for the virus to enter the bloodstream.
Penis-in-vagina sex, though not as risky, is also considered higher risk activity for both parties.
How Can To Help Stop The Spread Of Hiv
To lower the risk of getting HIV and other STIs:
- Those who are HIV-negative should consider PrEP. If a possible HIV exposure occurs, PEP may provide emergency protection.
- Use condoms during vaginal and anal sex.
- Get tested and treated for STIs and follow healthcare providers recommended screening schedule.
- Before having sex with someone, ask them to get tested for HIV and STIs.
- Those who inject drugs should get clean needles from a needle exchange.
- Avoid sharing needles for drugs and tattoos.
Talk to a healthcare provider about PrEP if a sexual partner has HIV with a detectable viral load or theres another known risk of contracting the virus. Heres a search tool for finding healthcare providers who prescribe PrEP.
Anyone who thinks they might have contracted HIV needs to get tested immediately. Early treatment can help manage the symptoms, lower the risk of complications, lower the risk of transmitting HIV to a sexual partner, and help people to live a long and healthy life.