Hiv: How Its Transmitted
HIV is spread through certain body fluids, such as blood, semen , rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services AIDS.gov website. The virus can be transmitted when these fluids in an infected person come into contact with mucous membranes in the rectum, vagina, penis, or mouth of another person.
While HIV can be spread during anal or vaginal sex, anal sex is riskier because there is more trauma and irritation to the mucous membranes, says Beverly Sha, MD, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Although the risk is low, HIV can also be spread through oral sex. HIV transmission can happen during ejaculation into the mouth, or if there are mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, genital sores, or other sexually transmitted diseases present, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Using condoms during sex lowers the risk of HIV transmission. When they are used properly, its clear they offer significant protection, Dr. Sha says. However, condoms can fail when they break, if theyre too old, or if they are not used correctly.
The virus can also spread if infected fluids come into contact with damaged tissue, such as a cut in the skin, or if infected blood is transferred from a needle or syringe. Doing injection drugs with someone who is infected and sharing equipment is high risk. HIV can be found in a used needle for as long as 42 days.
How Do You Get Hiv From Semen Or Vaginal Fluid
Body fluids including semen and vaginal secretions can contain HIV. If a person has HIV and a detectable viral load, HIV can passed on to someone if their semen or vaginal secretions get into the body of a sexual partner during vaginal or anal sex.
If a man has HIV and a detectable viral load, one of his body fluids where the virus is found is his semen.
If he has a detectable viral load and his semen gets into the body of his sexual partner during sex, then HIV can get into the other persons bloodstream.
Pre-cum also contains HIV this is why there is a risk of infection even if a man pulls out of his partner before he ejaculates.
If a woman has HIV and she has a detectable viral load, one of her body fluids where the virus is found is in her vaginal secretions.
If these come into contact with a penis during sex, then HIV could be transmitted. The virus in her secretions can enter through the delicate skin of the penis or foreskin.
Can I Get Hiv From A Mosquito
No, it is not possible to get HIV from mosquitoes or other biting and bloodsucking insects. The results of experiments and observations of insect biting behavior indicate that when an insect bites a person, it does not inject its own or a previously bitten person’s or animal’s blood into the next person bitten. Rather, it injects saliva, which acts as a lubricant so the insect can feed efficiently.
Diseases, such as yellow fever and malaria are transmitted through the saliva of specific species of mosquitoes. However, HIV lives for only a short time inside an insect. Unlike organisms that are transmitted via insect bites, HIV does not reproduce in insects. Thus, even if the virus enters a mosquito or another insect, the insect does not become infected and cannot transmit HIV to the next human it bites.
There are several reasons why a mosquito or other insect cannot transmit HIV from one person to another even if there is HIV-infected blood left on its mouth parts: 1) Infected people do not have constantly high levels of HIV in their blood streams. 2) Insect mouth parts retain no blood on their surfaces. 3) Finally, scientists who study insects have determined that biting insects normally do not travel from one person to the next immediately after ingesting blood. Rather, they fly to a resting place to digest the blood meal. Epidemiological studies have shown no relationship at all between HIV and the existence of mosquitos or mosquito bites.
Also Check: How Does Hiv Cause Aids
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.
Myth : Theres A Cure For Hiv
While antiretroviral therapy can substantially reduce the amount of HIV in a persons blood, its not a cure. If an HIV-positive person suddenly stops taking their meds, the amount of virus in their blood can skyrocket.
Even skipping doses of the meds can allow HIV to change form and potentially become resistant to the drugs, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
The key to living well with HIV and avoiding transmission to others is to get treatment as early as possible and take those meds daily as prescribed.
Also Check: How Can Hiv Be Cured
Read Also: How Is Hiv Contracted Anally
I Shared A Spoon With Someone Who Has Hiv Could I Be Infected
i used the spoon of the infected person . do i have HIV ?
No it isnt possible to become infected with HIV by sharing a spoon with someone who is HIV positive. HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS, is transmitted in blood, semen, breast milk, and vaginal fluids but not in saliva.
HIV is most commonly transmitted by having vaginal or anal intercourse without a condom with someone who has HIV/AIDS, sharing needles or syringes with someone who has HIV/AIDS, or getting HIV-infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluid into open wounds or sores. It is NOT spread through casual contact like kissing, hugging, or sharing drinking glasses or utensils.
Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. is a registered 501 nonprofit under EIN 13-1644147. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable under the law.
Recommended Reading: What City Has The Highest Hiv Rate
Ways Hiv Is Not Transmitted
How well does HIV survive outside the body?
HIV does not survive long outside the human body , and it cannot reproduce outside a human host. It is not transmitted
- Through saliva, tears, or sweat.
- Through other sexual activities that dont involve the exchange of body fluids .
- Through the air.
Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
- Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
- CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance on other federal or private website.
Recommended Reading: Would You Date Someone With Hiv
Hiv And Hepatitis B In Saliva
Hepatitis B is spread through contact with body fluids infected with the virus, such as direct contact with blood or open wounds. Therefore, it can be spread through sharing a toothbrush, but not through sharing eating utensils, kissing, coughing, or sneezing.
Hepatitis C requires blood exposure, and is typically spread through the use of shared needles or other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs. Hepatitis A requires some form of fecal exposure , and is not spread via saliva or kissing.
Kissing is, in general, not considered a risk factor for HIV transmission. It would only be a risk if bleeding occurred or open sores were present.
Recommended Reading: Is Hiv And Herpes The Same
Can The Virus Be Transmitted Through Breastfeeding
Yes, HIV is present in infectious amounts in breast milk. HIV can be passed from an HIV infected mother to her baby through breastfeeding. Most HIV+ children in the Caribbean have been infected through mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
This can be prevented when an HIV infected mother does not breastfeed her baby and uses other alternate milk recommended by her doctor. More information on HIV and pregnancy can be found here.
Also Check: Does Walgreens Do Hiv Testing
How You Become Infected
There is HIV virus in body fluids like vaginal secretions and semen. If those fluids are present, they can enter the bloodstream of someone who doesnt have HIV through an opening such as a mouth sore or a genital ulcer.
Your chances are higher of getting HIV if you:
- Have sores in your mouth, vagina, or penis
- Have another sexually transmitted disease
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.
Don’t Miss: Does Walgreens Have Hiv Test
Myths About Hiv And Aids
- There are lots of myths around, but the facts of how you can get HIV, and how you can protect yourself, are very simple.
- One of the most common myths people living with HIV hear is that they can be cured. Theres no cure yet for HIV, but antiretroviral treatment works and will keep someone living with HIV healthy.
There are lots of myths and misconceptions about how you can get HIV. Here we debunk those myths and give you the facts about how HIV is passed on
HIV can only be passed on from one person to another via the following bodily fluids:
A Member Of My Family Or Close Friend Of Mine Has Hiv Am I Also At Risk
Although HIV has been transmitted between family members in a household setting, this type of transmission is extremely rare. These transmissions are believed to have resulted from contact between mucous membranes and infected blood. To prevent even such rare occurrences, precautions should be taken in all settings including the home to prevent exposure to the blood of persons who are HIV infected, at risk for HIV infection, or whose infection and risk status are unknown.
For example, gloves should be worn during contact with blood or other body fluids that could possibly contain visible blood, such as urine, faeces, or vomit.
Cuts, sores, or breaks on both the caregivers’ and patients exposed skin should be covered with bandages. Hands and other parts of the body should be washed immediately after contact with blood or other body fluids.
Surfaces soiled with blood should be disinfected appropriately. Practices that increase the likelihood of blood contact, such as sharing of razors and toothbrushes, should be avoided.
Needles and other sharp instruments should be used only when necessary and handled according to recommendations for health care settings. .
You May Like: Who Was The First Person To Get Hiv
How Long Can Hiv Survive Outside The Human Body
Generally the fragile nature of the virus prevents it from surviving for a substantial amount of time in the open air. The length of time HIV can survive outside the body is dependent on the amount of HIV present in the body fluid and the conditions the fluid is subjected to.
Note that HIV is fragile and many common substances such as hot liquid, soap, bleach, alcohol, and the gastric juices found within your stomach can destroy the virus.
Your skin is a 100% proof barrier against HIV. The virus cannot enter your skin unless there is an open bleeding wound. If you get blood on your skin, simply wash with water and soap. There is no need to scrub because this might damage the skin.
It is good practice to be careful with any blood spill, because one can never tell if the person it came from has HIV or other blood borne infections. You can safely clean such blood spills with water and Clorox.
Can A Man Give Himself Hiv/aids Or Another Sexually Transmitted Infection By Masturbating
The best answer to this question came years ago from one of our longtime experts, the highly respected HIV physician Robert Frascino, M.D.:
No, there is absolutely no chance you can contract a sexually transmitted illness from yourself!
STIs involve germs that spread from an infected person to another person via sexual activity. Masturbation, choking the chicken, spanking the monkey, or whatever you want to call it, involves only you and your hand. Some folks may refer to their hand as Mrs. Palm and her five daughters, but really we are only talking about one person here. And thats you, right?!
A person cannot give himself a disease he doesnt already have. Just as you cant give yourself a million dollars , you cant give yourself HIV, because you dont have that either.
The bottom line is that your jizz is perfectly safe, so no worries unless you spunk up your parents furniture. And even those kinds of stains, although they can lead to problems, they can not lead to STIs, OK?
You May Like: What Fluids Can Transmit Hiv
Estimating Risk By Exposure Type
The likelihood of transmitting HIV through oral sex depends largely on the type of contact involved. Putting aside all other risk factors, the potential for infection can vary based on whether the non-infected person is either performing or receiving oral sex.
Broadly speaking, the risk of HIV from oral sex can run anywhere from 0% to 1%, according to research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
However, numbers can change once you factor in specific sexual behaviors. Among them:
- Receptive fellatio, meaning that the non-infected person is performing oral sex on a male partner with HIV, is considered exceptionally low risk. Among men who have sex with men , the per-act risk hovers at around 0.04 percent.
- Insertive fellatio is even less likely given that the enzymes in saliva can neutralize the HIV viral particles.
- Cunnilingus has also proven to be a highly unlikely route.
- Anilingus is also regarded as being of negligible risk, particularly for the receptive partner.
While these figures suggest that the risk of HIV is low from a population perspective, that shouldn’t imply that it is inherently low from an individual perspective. Clearly, the more risk factors you have, the greater the risk of transmission will be.
Impossible Routes Of Hiv Transmission
HIV transmission through the following activities is biologically implausible and there have been no documented cases.
There is no risk of HIV being passed on through: coughing, sneezing or spitting kissing, hugging or shaking hands sharing cutlery, plates or cups breathing the same air using the same lavatory mosquito or animal bites.
Recommended Reading: How You Know If You Have Hiv
Effective Barriers Against Hiv
There are many effective barriers that prevent infection.
Skin: Skin is an excellent barrier against HIV, unless there is an open cut or open wound. Infectious fluid on skin is NOT a route for infection.
Mucous membranes in the mouth, throat and stomach: These membranes are good barriers against HIV infection, so long as there are not cuts, ulcers or sores.
Saliva: Saliva contains proteins and a low salt content that actively reduce its infectiousness. Even when HIV is detected there is too little to cause infection. HIV is not transmitted by kissing including deep kissing. Spit cannot transmit HIV.
Air: HIV is not transmitted by air.
Latex and rubber: Condoms prevent infection from HIV and many other sexually transmitted infections.
Many sexual situations have no risk of transmitting HIV.
These include masturbation , kissing and deep kissing, receiving oral sex and vaginal or anal sex using a condom correctly.
Also Check: How To Know If You Get Hiv
Can You Catch Hiv From Kissing
No. Evidence shows that the HIV virus is spread through the exchange of bodily fluids such as blood, semen and vaginal fluids, but not saliva.
Although HIV can be detected in saliva, it can’t be passed to other people through kissing because a combination of antibodies and enzymes found naturally in saliva prevent HIV infecting new cells.
Also Check: How Does Hiv Get Transferred
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.
How Is Hiv Transmitted Or Spread
The following are the means by which the HIV virus is spread:
Vertical transmission. HIV can be spread to babies born to, or breastfed by, mothers infected with the virus.
Sexual contact. In adults and adolescents, HIV is spread most commonly by sexual contact with an infected partner. The virus enters the body through the lining of the vagina, vulva, penis, rectum, or abraded or irritated tissues in the lining of the mouth through sexual activity.
Blood contamination. HIV may also be spread through contact with infected blood. However, due to the screening of donated blood for evidence of HIV infection, the risk of acquiring HIV from blood transfusions is extremely low.
Needles. HIV is frequently spread by sharing needles, syringes, or drug use equipment with someone who is infected with the virus. Transmission from patient to health care worker, or vice-versa, through accidental sticks with contaminated needles or other medical instruments, is rare.
No known cases of HIV/AIDS have been spread by the following:
Enlarged lymph nodes
An HIV-infected child is usually diagnosed with AIDS when the immune system becomes severely damaged or other types of infections occur. As the immune system deteriorates, complications begin to develop. The following are some common complications, or symptoms, of the onset of AIDS. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Read Also: What Happens When Hiv Is Undetectable