How Easy Is It To Get
Itâs extremely difficult to give an exact risk of getting HIV. Thatâs because it depends on a number of factors, including how much of the virus is in the other personâs fluids and how itâs getting into your body . The important thing to know is that while each time you have unprotected sex with someone who is HIV positive the likelihood youâll become infected is pretty low , those numbers are true every time you do that act. So the risk can pile up if youâre having sex with an HIV positive person multiple times. Itâs also important to remember that you can get infected the first time you have sex with someone.
Itâs also important to take into account the amount of virus in the other personâs blood. When someone first gets infected, the virus goes all spring break on your body while your immune system scrambles to retaliate. During this time of primary HIV infection, you have a lot of copies of the virus in your system, which means you are very infectious to other people. With proper medication and care, you can get the number of these copies very low, reducing the likelihood of transmission significantly.
How Can A Woman Reduce Her Chances Of Contracting Hiv
HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids like blood and semen. Using injection drugs, having unprotected sex and having multiple sex partners increases the chances of acquiring HIV. The only way to be absolutely certain you do not become infected with HIV is to not have sex and not use injection drugs. You also can avoid infection by only having one sex partner as long as your partner does not have HIV and has sex only with you. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention , using a male or female condom every time you have vaginal or anal sex can greatly lower your risk of infection. Using condoms for oral sex will reduce your risk for other STDs as well. It also is important not to douche, since douching removes some of the normal vaginal bacteria that can protect you from infection.
Does Treatment Matter
If you and your partner are both living with HIV and both of you have your infections fully suppressed with treatment, you should discuss the risks of unprotected sex with your doctors. Safe sex is still a very good idea, but treatment as prevention studies have shown that the risk of infection of a partner without HIV is zero when their regular sexual partner has an undetectable viral load.
That being said, a person living with HIV must have sustained viral suppression in order to not transmit. There has been a very little investigation of how treatment affects superinfection risk in those who are HIV-positive. Therefore, although it is likely that effective treatment also greatly decreases superinfection risk, it would be premature to declare that it makes sex safe.
NOTE: HIV superinfection should be distinguished from dual-infection, which is defined as being infected with two HIV strains at the same time. Although HIV superinfection can lead to dual infection, it is also possible for an individual to initially be infected with two strains of HIV.
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How Can I Get It
HIV lives in only certain human bodily fluids, and is transmitted into your bloodstream through only certain parts of your body. So to know if youâve been exposed, you need to answer two questions: first, is there HIV present? and second, did it get into my blood?
This may seem obvious, but itâs really important to remember â you canât get HIV from someone who doesnât have it in their system. What this really means is that in order for you to be exposed to HIV, the other person who could be exposing you to it needs to have it. The fluids through which HIV can be transmitted are blood, semen, precum , vaginal fluid, breast milk , and rectal fluids, also called anal mucous. Notice fluids not on this list, including spit, sweat, and tears.
Letâs say you know that the other person in question has HIV in their system. Just because they have it doesnât mean you will get it. In order to potentially get their HIV into your system, you need to get it into your body through either a mucous membrane , a cut on your skin , or straight into your bloodstream through sharing needles.
Knowing how this virus is transmitted is what you need to protect yourself against it or protect others from becoming infected .
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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Criticism Of Criminal Statutes
Research has been done on the effects of the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure. It has been demonstrated that these types of laws increase HIV stigma and negatively affect public health. HIV non-disclosure laws and criminalization of HIV transmission may make people less likely to access HIV testing and less likely to disclosure their status or discuss sexual health with a healthcare provider. Although women only make up 10% of Canadian non-disclosure prosecutions, there is an overrepresentation of prosecuted sex workers, Indigenous women, and abuse survivors. There is also a higher proportion of women and indigenous people involved in cases based on low levels of blameworthiness .
South Africa’s openly HIV-positive Supreme Court Justice Edwin Cameron argued against criminalisation at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City.
Is There Risk Of Hiv Transmission When Having A Tattoo Body Piercing Or Getting A Hair Cut Or Shave
There is a risk of HIV transmission if instruments contaminated with blood are not sterilized between clients. However, people who carry out body piercing or tattooing should follow procedures called ‘universal precautions’, which are designed to prevent the transmission of blood borne infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B.
When having a hair cut there is no risk of infection unless the skin is cut and infected blood gets into the wound. Traditional ‘cut-throat’ razors used by barbers now have disposable blades, which should only be used once, thus eliminating the risk from blood-borne infections such as Hepatitis and HIV.
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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Hiv
- Get tested for HIV. Talk to your partner about HIV testing and get tested before you have sex. Use this testing locator from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find an HIV testing location near you.
- Choose less risky sexual behaviors. HIV is mainly spread by having anal or vaginal sex without a condom or without taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV.
- Use condoms every time you have sex. Read this fact sheet from CDC on how to use condoms correctly.
- Limit your number of sexual partners. The more partners you have, the more likely you are to have a partner with poorly controlled HIV or to have a partner with a sexually transmitted disease . Both of these factors can increase the risk of HIV transmission.
- Get tested and treated for STDs. Insist that your partners get tested and treated, too. Having an STD can increase your risk of getting HIV or spreading it to others.
- Talk to your health care provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis . PrEP is an HIV prevention option for people who don’t have HIV but who are at risk of getting HIV. PrEP involves taking a specific HIV medicine every day to reduce the risk of getting HIV through sex or injection drug use. For more information, read the ClinicalInfo fact sheet on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis .
- Don’t inject drugs. But if you do, use only sterile drug injection equipment and water and never share your equipment with others.
How Hiv Is Transmitted
HIV is not passed on easily from one person to another. The virus does not spread through the air like cold and flu viruses.
HIV lives in the blood and in some body fluids. To get HIV, 1 of these fluids from someone with HIV has to get into your blood.
The body fluids that contain enough HIV to infect someone are:
- vaginal fluids, including menstrual blood
- breast milk
- contact with animals or insects like mosquitoes
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How Do I Know If I Have It
You canât tell if someone has HIV just by looking at them. In fact, some people donât know they are infected with the virus for years, because they havenât noticed any symptoms. To know your status, you have to get tested.
However, some people experience symptoms in the first two to four weeks after theyâve been infected. These are usually described as an extremely bad flu â fever, a sore throat, headache, achy muscles and joints, and rash. This is called primary HIV infection, and whatâs happening here is that your body is trying to fight off the HIV infecting it.
Hiv And Std Criminalization Laws
As of 2021, 35 states have laws that criminalize HIV exposure.The laws for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico were assessed and categorized into four categories.
General criminal statutes, such as reckless endangerment and attempted murder, can be used to criminalize behaviors that can potentially expose another to HIV and or an STD. Many states have laws that fall into more than one of the categories listed above. For this analysis, only HIV-specific laws are captured for states with both HIV-specific laws and STD/communicable/infectious disease laws. Only HIV or STD/communicable/infectious disease laws are captured for states with both HIV or STD/communicable/infectious disease laws and sentence enhancement statutes.
Criminalize or Control Behaviors Through HIV-Specific Statutes and Regulations
Criminalize or Control Behaviors Through STD/Communicable/Infectious Diseases Specific Statutes
Sentence Enhancement Statutes
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All Exposures Are Not Equal
The results of several meta-analyses suggest that some types of sex carry on average a higher risk of HIV transmission than others. Below are estimates from meta-analyses that have combined the results of studies conducted in high-income countries. For types of sex where meta-analysis estimates do not exist, numbers from individual studies are provided.
A meta-analysis exploring the risk of HIV transmission through unprotected anal sex was published in 2010.1 The analysis, based on the results of four studies, estimated the risk through receptive anal sex to be 1.4%. This risk was similar regardless of whether the receptive partner was a man or woman.
No meta-analysis estimates currently exist for insertive anal sex but two individual studies were conducted to calculate this risk. The first, published in 1999, calculated the risk to be 0.06% .2 However, due to the design of the study, this number likely underestimated the risk of HIV transmission. The second study, published in 2010, was better designed and estimated the risk to be 0.11% for circumcised men and 0.62% for uncircumcised men.3
A meta-analysis of 10 studies exploring the risk of transmission through vaginal sex was published in 2009.4 It is estimated the risk of HIV transmission through receptive vaginal sex to be 0.08% .
A meta-analysis of three studies exploring the risk from insertive vaginal sex was estimated to be 0.04% .4
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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Sexual Rights Responsibilities And Hiv
In the context of sexual rights and HIV, a few refrains often emerge: I have the right not to disclose my HIV status if I take adequate precautions. Or the other side: I have the right to know my partners HIV status. Responsibility has also taken on a similar tone for HIV-positive people and HIV-negative people engaged in this conversation: As an HIV-positive person, you have the responsibility to disclose your HIV status or As a person who is not HIV positive, you need to take responsibility over your sexual behavior and ensure condom use. In reality, all or some of these things may or may not be true at any given moment. A few examples illustrate how this plays out in real life.
Scenario 1: A woman married at a young age. Her husband has had previous and concurrent relationships, but she has only had sex with him. During labor, she is tested for HIV and found to be HIV positive. Her husband may or may not know his HIV status. A few months later, her husband would like to resume sexual activity with her. She has unprotected sex with her husband, believing that she likely contracted HIV from him. She does not disclose her HIV status.
Scenario 3: A woman is living with HIV. Her spouse knows this. They normally engage in protected sex but on occasion have not used condoms. After months of an abusive relationship with her spouse, the woman files for divorce. In retaliation, the man tells the court that she never disclosed her HIV status to him.
Challenges In Calculating A Number
It isn’t 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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Ways Hiv Can Be Transmitted
How is HIV passed from one person to another?
Most people who get HIV get it through anal or vaginal sex, or sharing needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment . But there are powerful tools that can help prevent HIV transmission.
Can I get HIV from anal sex?
You can get HIV if you have anal sex with someone who has HIV without using protection .
- Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV.
- Being the receptive partner is riskier for getting HIV than being the insertive partner .
- The bottoms risk of getting HIV is very high because the rectums lining is thin and may allow HIV to enter the body during anal sex.
- The top is also at risk because HIV can enter the body through the opening at the tip of the penis , the foreskin if the penis isnt circumcised, or small cuts, scratches, or open sores anywhere on the penis.
Can I get HIV from vaginal sex?
You can get HIV if you have vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using protection .
Can HIV be transmitted from a mother to her baby?
HIV can be transmitted from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. However, it is less common because of advances in HIV prevention and treatment.
Can I get HIV from sharing needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment?
You are at high risk for getting HIV if you with someone who has HIV. Never share needles or other equipment to inject drugs, hormones, steroids, or silicone.
How Is Hiv Transmitted
The person-to-person spread of HIV is called HIV transmission. People can get or transmit HIV only through specific activities, such as through sex or injection drug use. HIV can be transmitted only in certain body fluids from a person who has HIV:
- Vaginal fluids
- Breast milk
HIV transmission is only possible if these fluids come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or are directly injected into the bloodstream . Mucous membranes are found inside the rectum, the vagina, the opening of the penis, and the mouth.
In the United States, HIV is spread mainly by:
- Having anal or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV
- Sharing injection drug equipment , such as needles, with someone who has HIV
HIV can also spread from a woman with HIV to her child during pregnancy, childbirth , or breastfeeding. This is called mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
You can’t get HIV from casual contact with a person who has HIV, such as a handshake, a hug, or a closed-mouth kiss. And you can’t get HIV from contact with objects such as toilet seats, doorknobs, or dishes used by a person who has HIV. Use the ClinicalInfo You Can Safely ShareWith Someone With HIV infographic to spread this message.
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