How Hiv Can Spread
The most common ways people contract HIV in the United States are through sharing equipment when injecting drugs and having anal or vaginal sex without barrier contraceptives. Anal sex poses a higher risk than vaginal sex, as there is a greater chance of tissue damage.
Although it is less common, HIV may pass to an infant during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.
In extremely rare cases, HIV may spread if blood comes into contact with an open wound. There is a chance of this occurring if partners engage in open-mouth kissing, and both have bleeding gums or open sores within the mouth.
However, saliva that does not contain blood cannot transmit HIV. People cannot get HIV from closed-mouth or cheek kissing.
People can reduce or eliminate the chance of contracting HIV by using barrier contraceptives or taking preventive HIV therapy, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis .
PrEP is a pill that a person can take once a day to minimize the chance of contracting HIV. It may be helpful for those who:
- have a partner with HIV
- have a partner with an unknown HIV status
- have multiple partners
Performing Oral Sex On A Man With Hiv
Theres a potential risk if an HIV negative person performs oral sex on a man with HIV who has a detectable viral load.
This risk increases if a mans infected pre-cum or semen gets into the other persons mouth.
Avoid getting semen in your mouth all but one of the cases where someone has been infected with HIV through oral sex took place when an HIV positive person with a detectable viral load ejaculated into their mouth.
What Are The Odds Of Getting Hiv From A One
Let’s start by scrubbing the “one night stand” bit from the question. In terms of HIV, it’s completely irrelevant whether sex took place as a one-off or in a 10-year relationship, with a sex worker or in a marital bed, with someone you love or with someone you regret ever meeting.
But there is a reasonable question to be asked about the odds of getting HIV during a single sexual act.
To answer it, the most important things to know are:
- Is the person you’re having sex with living with HIV?
- If they’re living with HIV, are they on HIV treatment, and is their viral load undetectable?
- Are you taking pre-exposure prophylaxis ?
- Did you use a male or female condom?
If the person is living with HIV, their viral load is detectable, you’re not on PrEP, and you didn’t use a condom, then the risk of sex depends on kind of sex we are talking about. Let’s limit this discussion to penetrative vaginal or anal sex.
For vaginal sex or for anal sex as the insertive partner, the odds may be about one in 1,000. For anal sex as the receptive partner , the odds may be about one in 100.
Read Also: How Long For Hiv Symptoms To Show
Am I At Higher Risk If I Have Sex With A Member Of The Same Sex
HIV is transmitted sexually regardless of your sexual preference. Note however, that worldwide there is a higher prevalence of the virus in certain groups because of their sexual practices and therefore having unsafe sex with someone from one of these groups places you at a higher risk of contracting the virus. Men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers, and people who have a sexually transmitted infection are examples of such groups.
Does Living With A Hiv Patient Transmit The Virus In Anyway
Answered by: Dr LM Nath | Consultant, Community Medicine,New Delhi
Q: I want to clarify the following: 1. Can the wet spoon/bowls used by a HIV positive person be mixed with the other utensils? Also, if not washed properly, is there a risk of transmission?2. Can the kids and other family members share the same bed and sleep without risk of transmission? Are the clothes good enough barrier to eliminate risk of transmission? 3. Can the clothes of a HIV patient be washed along with others? Is it a must to wash the HIV patients clothes like shirt, trouser, towel daily separately or can they be washed together with others?4. In summers, there is a lot of sweat. If the kids touch him with bare hands, is there any risk of transmission?5. If after about a week of exposure, the results are non reactive, is it a must to recheck after 3 months even if one feels ok? I will be grateful if you could please send detailed replies to clarify all my doubts once for all.
You May Like: Can You Live With Someone With Hiv
Lowering The Risk Of Sexual Transmission
There are several protective measures which dramatically reduce the risk of HIV transmission during sex. You can find out more about these on other pages.
Antiretroviral drugs used by a person who does not have HIV to be taken before possible exposure to HIV in order to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV infection. PrEP may either be taken daily or according to an event based or on demand regimen.
Undetectable viral load: when people with HIV take effective treatment, the amount of HIV in their body fluids falls drastically, to the point where they cannot pass HIV on to their sexual partners. An extremely low level of HIV in body fluids is referred to as an undetectable viral load. The knowledge that this prevents transmission is often referred to ‘Undetectable equals Untransmittable’ .
PrEP: if the HIV-negative person takes antiretroviral medications as pre-exposure prophylaxis , this significantly reduces the risk of acquiring HIV. The most common form of PrEP is in a tablet, but it can also be provided as a vaginal ring or an injection.
Condoms: if male condoms or female condoms are used, this significantly reduces the risk of acquiring HIV.
Male circumcision: if you are circumcised, this partially lowers your risk of acquiring HIV during vaginal sex.
Can You Get Hiv From Kissing
Let’s start by stating the obvious: kissing is considered among the most ineffective means of transmitting HIV from one person to another, with risk considered anywhere from negligible to non-existent.
To date, there has really been only one, rather dubious case where an HIV-negative woman was said to have infected by her HIV-positive male partner, who reportedly deep kissed her on a regular basis over a two-year period, often with bleeding gums.
What makes the casewhich was reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention back in 1996highly suspect is the fact that the couple also reported condom breakage during the same period, reported that they had used a nonoxynol-9 lubricant , and reported having vaginal sex and oral sex without condoms during the span of their relationship.
While the CDC reported that they suspected HIV transmission was “possibly associated with exposure of mucous membranes to contaminated blood,” they could not exclude vaginal sex, oral sex, or any other possibility.
Beyond this one incident, there has been no documented case wherein kissing alone was identified as the mode of HIV transmission in either a sexual or social situation.
You May Like: How To Test For Hiv At Home
Sharing Toothbrushes + Mouthguards
Ever forget a toothbrush and borrow your partners? The American Dental Association advises against this practice.
Toothbrushes may cause microtrauma. Someone elses saliva can come in contact with tears in your mucous membrane and transmit infection, explains Dr. Benninger.
Sharing toothbrushes is especially risky if you have a weakened immune system.
Have a cold, sore throat or other virus? Keep your toothbrush from touching the family toothpaste and others toothbrushes.
There are also several types of mouthguards those that protect your teeth, mouth and jaw during sports, and help keep you from grinding your teeth at night.
You can get stock mouthguards from a sporting goods store, bite and boil mouthguards from a drugstore, or custom-made mouthguards from your dentist.
Whatever type you use, mouthguards, which are porous, should never be shared. A 2007 study, reported in General Dentistry, found that mouthguards harbor bacteria, yeasts and molds.
Someone elses mouthguard may fit very poorly and cause microtrauma, says Dr. Benninger. This can expose your mucous membranes to infection.
If you wear a mouthguard, be sure to:
- Brush your teeth before inserting it.
- Clean it whenever you brush your teeth.
- Store it in a case.
- Avoid chewing on it.
You May Like: Is Hiv Easy To Catch
Can Hiv Be Spread Through Saliva
The HIV virus is not capable of reproduction outside the human body. Therefore, despite fears that HIV could be spread through kissing or through saliva, it cant. The virus also cannot be transmitted via the following: tears, air, water, and sharing utensils. HIV is often transmitted between people through the following fluids: vaginal fluid/secretions, semen, preseminal fluid, blood and breast-milk
Also Check: How Soon Can Hiv Be Detected
Its Easy To Tell The Symptoms Of Hiv
The symptoms of HIV can differ from person-to-person and some people may not get any symptoms at all. Without treatment, the virus will get worse over time and damage your immune system over time. There are three stages of HIV infection with different possible effects.
Also, you also cant tell by looking at someone whether they have HIV or not. Many people dont show signs of any symptoms. And, for people living with HIV who are on effective treatment, they are just as likely to be as healthy as everyone else.
Also Check: Who Was The First Person To Get Hiv
Can You Get Hiv/aids From Someone’s Blood Touching Your Open Sore
HIV transmissions as a result of one person’s blood entering another person’s open sore or wound are theoretically possible, but in practice hardly ever happen. Only a handful of cases have ever been documented.
If a person is living with HIV and they do not have an undetectable viral load, and their blood directly enters the bloodstream of another person, HIV may be passed on. For example, this is how HIV is usually transmitted when people share syringes or needles used to inject drugs.
However, HIV transmission following limited contactfor example, blood touching an open soreis much less likely.
If you are concerned about an incident in which you had contact with another person’s blood, it’s worth noting a few points:
- If the blood came into contact with undamaged, unbroken skin, there is no HIV risk whatsoever.
- HIV is not transmitted through surface scratches, such as paper cuts.
- A cut or wound that is in the process of healing and scabbing over is unlikely to allow entry of the other person’s blood.
- HIV does not survive long outside the body, so the risk from blood left behind on objects is minimal.
- The handful of documented cases of HIV transmission involving fights or accidents have involved serious injuries and profuse bleeding.
You May Like: How Does Hiv Cause Aids
How Can You Get Hiv
HIV is found in the following bodily fluids of someone living with the virus:
- vaginal fluids
For you to get HIV, these bodily fluids need to get into your blood through a mucous membrane , via shared injecting equipment, or through broken skin .
There is not enough HIV virus in other bodily fluids, like saliva, sweat or urine, to transmit it from one person to another.
Someone living with HIV who has an undetectable viral load, meaning effective treatment has lowered the amount of virus in their blood to levels where it cannot be detected by a normal blood test, cannot pass on HIV.
A person living with HIV with a detectable viral load can pass the virus to others whether they have symptoms or not.
HIV is most infectious in the first few weeks after infection. At this time many people are unaware of their status.
The main ways you can get HIV are:
Where Did Myths About Hiv Come From
The early 1980s were a scary time for people living with HIV. By the spring of 1983, scientists had identified the virus responsible for a mysterious illness called acquired immune deficiency syndrome , but they didnt understand how it passed from person to person.
Initially, some researchers speculated this new infection could be passed through casual contact or even through the air, like tuberculosis. Others theorized it might be hitching a ride with mosquitoes or other insects, like malaria.
But the damage had already been done. Myths about HIV transmission had already taken root, and these myths continue to make life difficult for the 1.1 million people living with HIV today in the United States.
Today we have a solid scientific understanding of HIV transmission. We know that HIV can only be transmitted in very limited circumstances, such as sexual contact or needle sharing. And we have a much better understanding of the way that viral loadthat is, the amount of HIV in a persons bloodstreaminfluences their chances of passing on the virus.
You can use this information to educate yourself, your friends, and your community about the real risk of HIV transmission.
You May Like: How Long Do You See Symptoms Of Hiv
What Are The Chances Of Becoming Infected With Hiv If My Partner Doesn’t Come Inside Me
Whilst research suggests that high concentrations of HIV can sometimes be detected in pre cum, it is difficult to judge whether HIV is present in sufficient quantities for infection to occur. To guard against the possibility of infection with HIV or any other STI it is best to practice safer sex – sex with a condom from start to finish.
Bites That Break The Skin
A bite that opens the skin and causes bleeding can lead to the transmission of HIV. However, according to the
goes up with increasing viral load.
Viral load is highest both during the early phase of HIV and without treatment with antiretroviral medications. Taking antiretroviral medications every day can reduce a persons viral load to very low levels that cant be detected through testing.
In this way, antiretroviral medications arent only a treatment, but an important tool for prevention. When HIV cant be detected in the blood, a person living with HIV cant sexually transmit the virus to a partner without HIV.
This principle is called Undetectable = Untransmittable and has been supported by
up to 6 months of taking antiretroviral medications each day to achieve an undetectable viral load.
A persons viral load is said to be durably undetectable when all test results are undetectable for at least 6 months after the first undetectable result.
Theres no need to be afraid of having casual contact with someone who is living with HIV. The virus doesnt live on the skin and cant live very long outside of the body.
Additionally, bodily fluids like saliva, tears, and sweat dont transmit HIV either.
Therefore, casual contact, such as holding hands, hugging, or sitting next to someone who has HIV, wont transmit the virus. Closed-mouth kissing isnt a threat either.
Don’t Miss: How Does Hiv Make You Feel
Myth : Abstinence And Condoms Are The Only Ways To Prevent Hiv
Abstinence was touted as a go-to way to prevent HIV transmission back in the 80s and 90s. And even today, that potential benefit is used as an argument for abstinence-only sex ed in schools, despite lots of evidence that those programs just dont work.
Not into the idea of a no-sex lifestyle? Condoms are another option. Research suggests they can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by as much as 95 percent every time you do the deed. Thats why condoms have been recommended as an HIV prevention tool for decades.
However, as of 2012, people got a new option for preventing HIV. Thats when the Food and Drug Administration OKd the first pre-exposure prophylaxis .
These meds offer people with known risk factors, like having sex with someone who has HIV or sharing needles for injectable drug use, a way to reduce their risk of contracting HIV by taking one pill per day.
And it works really well. When PrEP is taken as prescribed, it can slash a persons chances of getting HIV through sex by a whopping 99 percent, according to the CDC.
How Is Hiv Spread From Person To Person
HIV can only be spread through specific activities. In the United States, the most common ways are:
- Having vaginal or anal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV. Anal sex is riskier than vaginal sex.
- Sharing injection drug equipment , such as needles, with someone who has HIV.
Less common ways are:
- From mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. However, the use of HIV medicines and other strategies have helped lower the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to 1% or less in the United States.
- Getting stuck with an HIV-contaminated needle or other sharp object. This is a risk mainly for health care workers. The risk is very low.
HIV is spread only in extremely rare cases by:
- Having oral sex. But in general, the chance that an HIV-negative person will get HIV from oral sex with an HIV-positive partner is extremely low.
Recommended Reading: What Happens When Hiv Is Undetectable
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.