Never Share Needles Syringes Or Other Drug Injection Equipment
- Use new, clean syringes and injection equipment every time you inject.
- Many communities have syringe services programs where you can get new needles and syringes and safely dispose of used ones. SSPs can also link you to substance use disorder treatment, testing, and care and treatment for infectious diseases.
- Some pharmacies sell needles without a prescription.
How can I protect my baby?
What Are The Chances Of Getting Hiv Through Anal Or Vaginal Intercourse
One way to address the anxiety about infecting a partner is to understand the exact level of risk involved with different types of sexual activity. Among heterosexuals, vaginal intercourse is a common route of HIV transmission, with the woman at greater risk for HIV infection than the man. Says Henderson, The risk for infection for the female is about twice that of the male partner.
The type of sexual behavior that poses the greatest risk for passing on the HIV virus is receptive anal intercourse, Henderson says, explaining that the person receiving the penis in the anus is the receptive person. In heterosexual sex, that is the woman.
She notes that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , receptive anal intercourse carries a risk for HIV transmission 17 times greater than receptive vaginal intercourse. In men who have sex with men, anal intercourse also poses a risk of infection for the insertive partner, Henderson says, although the danger is 13 times greater for the receptive partner.
Meds Prevent Hiv Transmission With Unprotected Sex
Study suggests transmission risk is low if infected person adheres to treatment
For gay couples in the same scenario, the risk seems to be only slightly higher.
The Danish study had some major limitations. It only tracked couples for up to two years, and there’s no way to know if the risk of HIV transmission will grow over time as couples age. Also, the HIV-positive participants were almost always careful to take their medication.
And at least one AIDS prevention expert expressed some caution about the study’s conclusions.
Still, “it is really great news for patients and their partners,” said HIV specialist Dr. Jared Baeten, vice chair of global health at the University of Washington in Seattle. He was not involved with the study but is familiar with the findings.
“For so long, patients have really cared deeply about the chance they would transmit this virus to people they love. What’s very reassuring about this study, and the bulk of information from other studies, is that people who have HIV and are on treatment appear to have an incredibly low chance of passing on the virus,” Baeten said.
About two-thirds of the couples were heterosexual and the rest were gay males. The average age of those in all couples was 42 years.
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How Can Stigma Affect Hiv Prevention
We know that by continuing to encourage frequent testing and safe sex practices, we can end HIV. However, stigma can be detrimental to those efforts. Fear of negative social consequences of a positive HIV test can discourage people from getting tested and knowing their status.
For people living with HIV who experience stigma because of their status, they are more likely to miss HIV check-ups and lapse in adherence to their meds. That can lead to an increase in their viral load and subsequently increase the risk of onward transmission.
I Think I’ve Been Exposed To Hiv Can I Still Prevent Hiv Infection
There may be times when you have a high-risk exposure to HIV and you cannot or did not protect yourself. For example:
- The condom slipped or broke during use.
- Your partner has HIV and you usually use condoms, but didn’t the last time you had sex.
- Rape or a sexual assault.
- You shared a needle to shoot drugs with someone and you are not sure if he or she has HIV.
- You know that the person with whom you shared needles or had unprotected sex has HIV.
- Go to a hospital emergency room or health care setting right away so that you can get all of the care you need. Women can also get emergency birth control to prevent pregnancy. Medicaid and Medicare pay for PEP for rape and sexual assault survivors. The Crime Victims Board may also pay for PEP, call 1-800-247-8035. TTY: 1-888-289-9747, Monday – Friday 9:00AM – 5:00PM.If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, call the NYS Coalition Against Sexual Assault at 1-800-942-6906. TTY: 1-800-655-1789.
In these cases, if you seek medical care right away, you may be able to take medicines that may help you from getting infected with HIV. This is called
PEP has been used for people who come in contact with HIV by accident – like a nurse getting stuck by a used needle. Now, PEP can be used for more than just on-the-job accidents. Sometimes this is called nPEP. The “n” in nPEP stands for “non-occupational” which means that you did not get exposed to HIV at work. PEP is only for people who were just exposed to HIV and do not already have it.
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What Is The Difference Between Hiv And Aids
The term AIDS refers to the most advanced stages of HIV infection. Most of the conditions affecting people with AIDS are opportunistic infections that generally do not affect healthy people. In people with AIDS, these infections are often severe and sometimes fatal because the immune system is so ravaged by HIV that the body cannot fight off the infection. Symptoms of opportunistic infections common in people with AIDS include:
- coughing and shortness of breath
- seizures and lack of coordination
- difficult or painful swallowing
- severe headaches
People with AIDS also are particularly prone to developing various cancers. These cancers are usually more aggressive and difficult to treat in people with AIDS.
Sex Toys Fingering Fisting And Hiv
Sex toys, such as dildos, come into direct contact with rectal/vaginal fluids and mucous membranes. This means sharing an uncleaned dildo or other toy can pass on HIV. Using sex toys on your own has no risk.
There is no direct risk of HIV from fingering or fisting , but be aware of being rough. Damage to anal/vaginal tissues, especially if there is any bleeding, will increase risk of HIV transmission if you then have anal, vaginal or oral sex later.
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At What Stage Of The Infection Can Hiv Be Transmitted
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.
Couples Should Get Tested Together
That is why WHO recommends that couples get tested for HIV and counselled together. Receiving voluntary HIV testing and counselling as a couple means that both partners get tested together, receive their results and share their status with the support of a counsellor. A range of prevention, treatment and support options can then be discussed and decided upon together.
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Connect With A Doctor You Trust
Whether its about treatments, nutrition or lifestyle changes you want to make, or resources you need for tackling any anxiety or stress you may be feeling bring all your questions to your doctor or medical professional.
They will provide you with information about HIV and ask you for a detailed medical history. Youll also have a range of blood tests done including viral load tests which determine how quickly HIV is reproducing in your system and if your immune system is being compromised.
If you dont feel comfortable speaking to your current or regular doctor, theres no reason why you cant switch to a different healthcare provider. After all, its your health and you should feel safe and affirmed by who you open up to. You can look for gender affirming doctors on our list here, or visit a sexual health clinic across NSW.
We Know That Men Who Have Sex With Men In Illinois Are At Higher Risk For Hiv What About Women Who Have Sex With Women
It is not a personâs gender, sexual orientation, race or class that puts them at risk for HIV. People are at risk for HIV when they practice risky behaviors. Women who identify as lesbian or gay can be at risk for HIV by practicing any of the behaviors that place women at risk. Lesbian women have become infected with HIV by using injection drugs or having unprotected sex with male or female partners who are already infected with HIV. Women who have sex with other women should follow guidelines in this fact sheet to protect themselves, and can call the Illinois AIDS/HIV/STD Hotline at 800-243-AIDS for specific information.
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When Should I Start Pep And How Long Do I Need To Take It
PEP must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV. The sooner you start it, the better every hour counts.
You need to take the PEP medicines every day for 28 days. You will have to see your health care provider at certain times during and after taking the PEP, so you can have an HIV screening test and other testing.
What Are The Risks Of Unprotected Sex When Both Partners Are Hiv Positive
Some HIV-infected people actively seek out other persons with HIV infection for sex under the assumption that they are not putting themselves or anyone else at an increased risk. However, it is clear that co-infections with multiple HIV strains can and do occur, and that such events may result in a rapid deterioration of a previously stable infection. A growing number of new infections are drug resistant upon first presentation, suggesting that these infections were transmitted from individuals receiving therapy.
Higher viral loads in the source partner are associated with higher transmission rates thus, because barrier contraception is imperfect , good control of viral load is important.
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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.
Condoms Can Help Protect You
When used correctly and consistently, condoms can decrease the risk of HIV transmission during male-male intercourse, Henderson says. Figures from the CDC indicate that condoms reduce the risk of HIV transmission for the receptive partner by 73 percent, and for the insertive partner by 63 percent.
Using a condom during vaginal intercourse is especially effective at protecting against HIV transmission: When applied and used correctly, condoms can lower a womans risk of infection by 80 to 85 percent. However, given that condoms arent 100 percent effective, the CDC recommends taking additional precautionary steps.
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How Well Does Prep Work
PrEP is very effective when you take it every day. It reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. In people who inject drugs, it reduces the risk of HIV by more than 70%. PrEP is much less effective if you do not take it consistently.
PrEP does not protect against other STDs, so you should still use latex condoms every time you have sex. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
You must have an HIV test every 3 months while taking PrEP, so you’ll have regular follow-up visits with your health care provider. If you are having trouble taking PrEP every day or if you want to stop taking PrEP, talk to your health care provider.
Monogamy And Open Relationships
You and your partner should talk to each other and agree whether your relationship will be monogamous or open .
There are risks in not discussing it and assuming that your partner agrees with you. Some people who think theyre in a monogamous relationship find out that their partner has had sex with others.
Both monogamous and open relationships can bring benefits and challenges. For example, some couples in monogamous relationships say they enjoy feeling both physically and emotionally committed to only one person. However, they may feel frustrated if they have a higher or lower sex drive than their partner.
Some couples in open relationships say they enjoy the sense of freedom and variety it can bring, but it can also highlight any feelings of jealousy or insecurity within the relationship. Mutual trust and honest communication are vital in both monogamous and open relationships.
If you both agree to be monogamous its important to discuss what would happen if either of you broke this agreement. If either of you feel that you must hide the fact that youve had sex outside the relationship, that can seriously threaten your relationship.
One advantage of monogamy is that no STIs are likely to come into your relationship.
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Living Together As A Serodiscordant Couple
Life was initially tougher for Godfrey and Paulina Mtonga of Lusaka, Zambia. The couple have now been married for 32 years. They have 11 children and 8 grandchildren. In 1994, they went for HIV testing together. Godfrey was positive and Paulina negative.
CDC Zambia/Karrin Parker
“The first week was very bad for us,” Godfrey recalls. “The counsellor came to visit us the very next day.” The counsellor kept coming, and the couple decided to stay together. They continued to have a sexual relationship, using condoms from a nearby clinic. Godfrey started taking antiretroviral treatment in 2002. Pauline has remained HIV-negative.
Godfrey Mtonga’s advice to everyone is to get tested. “If you are positive, love each other and take your medicine at the right time. We have lived with our status as a discordant couple for the past 18 years because we support each other.”
Some countriessuch as Kenya, Rwanda, Thailand, Zambia and othershave already introduced HIV testing and counselling for couples with a view to helping them support one another. Couples testing can be provided as part of pregnancy care or other health services, in peoples’ homes and as part of outreach testing in communities, as well as in voluntary testing and counselling sites.
What Safe Sex Really Means Now
Very few HIV-positive people have been spared rejection from potential sexual partners upon revealing their status. I experienced a sexual rejection myself recently, when my potential sex partner got to clothes off stage and then asked, So what does undetectable mean? Of course I was happy to educate him, but the moment was lost.
Despite my disappointment, that question, what does undetectable mean is a very good one. The answer is only just beginning to filter through. It needs to be clearer and more resonant, especially among gay and bisexual men.
Nine years ago, HIV-positive people began to hope that having an undetectable viral load of fewer than 20 copies might prevent us passing the virus to others. Backed by global research, The Swiss Statement, said an HIV-infected person on antiretroviral therapy with completely suppressed viremia is not sexually infectious.
In 2011, the HPTN 052 study of 1760 serodiscordant* mainly heterosexual couples showed reduction of transmission from a positive to negative partner was 96%. And when the study considered those who had six months of effective treatment, transmission was zero.
Thankfully, the PARTNER Study answered this question. With a sizeable number of gay male couples among its cohort, in 2014 it found no transmissions among 1,100 serodiscordant couples, despite some 16,400 acts of condom-less sex.
*serodiscordant = where one partner is HIV-positive and the other HIV-negative
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