At What Stage Of The Infection Can Hiv Be Transmitted
If someone with HIV is taking HIV medication and has an undetectable viral load, they cannot pass on the virus. It can take up to six months on treatment to become undetectable.
Someone with HIV can pass on the virus if they have a detectable viral load.
This often happens during the first few months after infection when the levels of the virus in their body fluids are at their highest and they may not yet have been diagnosed.
This is why testing and early diagnosis are so important you can start treatment right away to protect your health and reduce your viral load to undetectable levels.
If the person with HIV has a detectable viral load, the virus is free to enter the HIV negative persons bloodstream. This can happen during vaginal and anal sex .
It can also happen when an object that has body fluids on it is put inside an HIV negative person during sex.
Is It True That Gay Men Are More At Risk For Hiv Than Other People
Although anyone can be at risk for HIV, some people can be more at risk depending upon the types of sexual practices and drug use they are engaging in. Being gay does not necessarily mean you are at higher risk, but certain activities gay men sometimes participate in might put them at greater risk. Overall, the gay male population in Canada has higher rates of HIV infection than some other populations. Stigma and homophobia can affect a person’s ability to access information about safer sex specifically for gay men.
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
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Sexual Intimacy With An Hiv
When one person contracts HIV, the couples approach to sex, intimacy, and childbearing must change to protect the other.
When one person in a couple is diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, it has a significant effect on the couples romantic relationship theres always a chance that the infected person can transmit HIV to his or her partner.
The most dangerous possibility for HIV transmission occurs when a partner is infected but doesnt know it, says Marilyn Henderson, BSN, RN, the director of the science department at the Medical Institute for Sexual Health in Austin, Texas.
If youre HIV positive, you can help protect your partner from becoming infected while still maintaining a close relationship by putting smart, safer sex practices in place. And with the right precautions, even that most intimate of connections conceiving a child together can safely be accomplished.
What Should I Do After I Start Pep
You need to see a doctor during the four weeks you are on PEP and again at the end of the four weeks when you are done with the PEP medicines. You will be tested for HIV again after the four weeks. Ask your health care provider for a number to call with questions about your PEP treatment.
While you are on PEP, and after you are done, be sure to protect yourself and others from HIV infection.
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Reducing Hiv Transmission During Labour
Ways to reduce HIV transmission during birth include:
- Avoiding procedures in labour that may scratch or cut the babys skin, wherever possible .
- Giving antiretroviral medications to the newborn for around 4 weeks after birth.
Caesarean delivery is recommended if a woman:
- Has a detectable viral load, .
- Is not taking antiretroviral treatment.
- Experiences obstetric delivery complications .
- Has other medical illness complications.
Living With Hiv When One Partner Is Positive And The Other Is Negative
Two months after Maripaz Callejas’ husband died of AIDS, she was diagnosed with HIV. One doctor told her that she would be dead within five years.
In Maripaz’s home country, El Salvador, many new HIV infections occur as a result of unprotected sex between couples who are married or living together. WHO estimates that globally as many as half of all HIV-positive people in long-term relationships have HIV-negative partners forming what are known as serodiscordant couples. It is estimated that half of people living with HIV still do not know that they are infected, and, like Maripaz, many people in relationships do not know their partner’s status.
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Sex With Hiv Positive Person On Arvs Is Safe
The early treatment of people with HIV massively reduces their infectiousness and gives the world our first real opportunity to halt the HIV epidemic.
This follows results of a trial released in May which found that sex with an HIV positive person on ARV treatment with an undetectable viral load is as safe as using condoms.
This is the biggest news of the year, according to Dr Francois Venter, head of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society.
No other intervention beyond abstinence shows such a level of protection. Its probably even safer than condoms because things often go wrong with condoms.
The trial has revolutionised HIV policy-making as, for the first time, ARVs are being counted as a weapon to prevent the spread of HIV as well as to treat the virus what the experts are now calling treatment-as-prevention.
The trial involved over 1 700 discordant couples, made up of an HIV positive and negative partner, and it was conducted in South Africa and eight other countries.
All the HIV positive partners had CD4 counts of between 350 and 500, which means that they did not yet need antiretroviral medication.
The couples were randomly divided into two groups. In the first group, the HIV positive partners were put onto ARVs immediately. In the second group, ARVs were delayed until the partners with HIV reached a CD4 count of 250 or developed an AIDS-related illness.
We Are Both Hiv Positive Do We Still Need To Use A Condom
When both partners are HIV positive, its easy to think that there is no longer a need for condom use. However, not only are condoms still important for preventing other STIs spreading, evidence has shown that there are several different strains of HIV. Both partners may not be diagnosed with the same strain, therefore protection remains as important as ever to prevent cross-infection.
If a new or mutated HIV type is introduced to a person who is HIV positive and receiving treatment, the treatment will be far more complex and potentially ineffective. The medicines for one strain may keep the viral load undetectable however the new strain could be resistant to the medication and render the treatment useless.
Practicing safer sex by using condoms can prevent such cross-infection, and whether you have an STI or not, regular sexual health testing is still important. Better2Know provide tests for a range of STIs, and advises you as to which is most suited to your needs.
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What Is Hiv And How Is It Transmitted
HIV is a virus that can weaken the immune system to the point that it is unable to control some infections.
HIV infection is not the same thing as AIDS. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection, when the immune system is at its weakest and a person has several specific illnesses.
AIDS is now very rare in Australia, as HIV treatments are highly effective at protecting the immune system from the virus.
Most people living with HIV in Australia can expect to live long, healthy lives without ever developing AIDS, if they are on effective treatment.
In Australia, HIV is commonly transmitted through:
- Anal or vaginal sex without the use of condoms.
- Having unprotected sex without using other prevention methods like PrEP or undetectable viral load or U=U .
- Sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment.
People who are HIV-positive and on treatment and have achieved and maintained an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV sexually.
For people who do not have HIV, regular use of condoms is the easiest way to prevent HIV.
For those at higher risk of HIV, PrEP is a medication that, when taken as prescribed, is up to 99% effective at preventing the virus.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hiv
Within a few weeks of getting HIV, some people get flu-like symptoms that last for a week or two, but others have no symptoms at all. After initial infection, people may not have any symptoms for years. HIV can be controlled with the right medical treatment and care. However, if its left untreated, it may develop into AIDS .
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How Else Can You Protect Yourself
Beyond getting the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible, people who live with HIV can protect themselves against the coronavirus by taking these steps, recommended by the CDC and UNAids:
- Continue taking your HIV medication and follow your healthcare providers advice.
- Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when youre out in public.
- Stay at least 2m away from people who dont live with you, especially anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Clean your hands regularly by washing them with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
- Avoid touching your mask, mouth, nose and eyes with unsantised hands.
- Stay at home if your feel sick, and get medical attention.
- Keep a 30- to 90-day supply of HIV medicine and any other medicine needed for managing HIV, especially during Covid-19 peaks. Ask about getting this medicine delivered.
- Make sure all your vaccinations are up to date, including the seasonal flu vaccine.
- Keep going for scheduled healthcare check-ups. Ask your healthcare provider about safety precautions when you visit them and ask if they offer telephonic consultations.
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.
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Getting Pregnant When A Male Partner Is Hiv
If a male partner is HIV-positive, a procedure called sperm washing can be used to conceive. During this procedure a machine separates sperm cells from the seminal fluid, which can carry the virus. The washed sperm is then used to fertilise the womans egg using a special catheter inserted into the uterus.
If the male partner is on effective treatment and has a stable undetectable viral load, there is no risk of HIV transmission.
In-vitro-fertilisation may also be an option.
Factors That Increase The Risk Of Sexual Transmission
Not every act of unprotected sex with an HIV-positive person results in HIV transmission. But other factors can make HIV transmission more likely.
If the HIV-negative person has an untreated sexually transmitted infection , the risk is greater.
Just as HIV treatment and an undetectable viral load prevents HIV transmission, a high viral load makes it more likely. Viral load refers to the quantity of HIV in a persons body fluids. It is extremely high in the first few weeks after a person is first infected with HIV. It may also be high if a person does not take HIV treatment and has advanced disease. People who have HIV without realising it cannot take HIV treatment, so there is a strong possibility that they have a high viral load.
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Ways To Have Safer Sex With Hiv
If you have HIV, you can take these precautions to protect your partner:
Is Deep Kissing A Route Of Hiv Transmission
Deep or open-mouthed kissing is a very low risk activity in terms of HIV transmission. HIV is only present in saliva in very minute amounts, insufficient to cause infection with HIV. There has been only one documented case of someone becoming infected with HIV through kissing a result of exposure to infected blood during open-mouthed kissing. If you or your partner have blood in your mouth, you should avoid kissing until the bleeding stops.
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Hiv During Pregnancy And Childbirth
Women living with HIV who are on treatment and have a stable undetectable viral load are extremely unlikely to transmit HIV to their baby during pregnancy and childbirth. There is a 1 in 1000 chance of transmitting HIV to the baby during pregnancy and delivery, when a woman is on antiretroviral treatment and has a viral load below 50 copies/ml .
HIV-positive women who are on treatment and have stable undetectable viral load, have a 1-2% chance of transmitting HIV to their baby if they breastfeed for 12 months.
So, although it is unlikely that a woman will transmit HIV to her baby when breastfeeding it is currently advised not to breastfeed.
Hiv Transmission Through Other Sexual Activities
HIV is also sometimes transmitted during oral sex . It may occasionally be passed from an HIV-positive person to someone sucking their penis.
“Not every act of unprotected sex with an HIV-positive person results in HIV transmission.”
Oral sex is much less risky than vaginal or anal sex, but it is not risk free. The risk depends on the viral load of the person with HIV, the dental health of the person performing oral sex and untreated sexually transmitted infections.
HIV can be transmitted by sharing sex toys such as dildos or butt plugs. They should be covered with condoms or disinfected between use by different people.
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Interpreting The Numberswhat Additional Information Needs To Be Provided
Some clients may see these numbers and think their risk of HIV transmission is low. Therefore, caution is needed when interpreting them. If these numbers are provided to clients, they should be accompanied by information that helps shed light on why the risk may be higher than it seems.
Transmission can occur after one exposure.
It is important to emphasize that a person could become infected from having unprotected sex once or a person could have unprotected sex many times and not become infected, regardless of how low or high the risk per exposure is.
A risk of 1% would mean that an average of one infection would occur if 100 HIV-negative people were exposed to HIV through a certain type of sex. It does not mean that a person needs to be exposed 100 times for HIV infection to occur.
These are estimates of average risk in the absence of biological factors that increase risk.
The numbers in the table above are rough estimates. They are averages and do not represent the risk from all exposures to HIV through a certain type of sex.
The risk of HIV transmission may be much higher than these averages if biological risk factors are present. For example, research shows that STIs and some vaginal conditions, such as bacterial vaginosis, can increase the risk of HIV transmission by up to 8 times.6,7,8 As a result, the risk of an HIV-negative woman becoming infected through unprotected receptive vaginal sex could be closer to 1% if she has a vaginal STI.