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.
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.
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.
Does Hiv Viral Load Affect Getting Or Transmitting Hiv
Yes. Viral load is the amount of HIV in the blood of someone who has HIV. If taken as prescribed, HIV medicine can reduce a persons HIV viral load very low level, which keeps the immune system working and prevents illness. This is called viral suppression, defined as having less than 200 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood.
HIV medicine can also make the viral load so low that a standard lab test cant detect it. This is called having an undetectable level viral load. Almost everyone who takes HIV medicine as prescribed can achieve an undetectable viral load, usually within 6 months after starting treatment.
As noted above, people with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load can live long and healthy lives and will not transmit HIVto their HIV-negative partnersthrough sex.
HIV medicine is a powerful tool for preventing sexual transmission of HIV. But it works only if the HIV-positive partner gets and keeps an undetectable viral load. Not everyone taking HIV medicine has an undetectable viral load. To stay undetectable, people with HIV must take HIV medicine as prescribed and visit their health care provider regularly to get a viral load test. Learn more.
Viral Load & Medications
If someone has HIV, this does not mean that they are restricted to celibacy. Many people with HIV still continue to have safe, enjoyable sex lives without spreading the virus. Always using a condom or barrier method is an important first step to prevent the sharing of HIV containing fluids.
Antiretroviral therapy : Another way to help decrease the risk of spreading HIV is to lower a personâs viral loadâthe amount of HIV in a personâs blood. Viral loads can be lowered using medications called antiretroviral therapy . These medications can lower the HIV viral load so much that HIV may not even be detectable on a blood testâthis is called an undetectable viral load . When a person’s viral load in undetectable, they have effectively no risk of transmitting the HIV virus to a non-infected partner . Taking these medication will help keep a person with HIV healthy while also helping prevent the spread of HIV to another person. This is not a cure, however. If medication is taken incorrectly or stopped, HIV viral loads will increase again and transmission can occur. Condoms and other barrier methods should still always be used during sex .
If you have HIV and have an undetectable viral load, you should still tell your partner before having sex.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis : Medication called pre-exposure prophylaxis can be taken daily to decrease the risk of contracting HIV if exposed .
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When Is Hiv Most Infectious
HIV is most infectious in the first one to four weeks after infection. In the early stages of infection, the amount of HIV in your blood is high so youâre more likely to pass the virus onto others. At this time, many people are unaware of their status which is why itâs a good idea to always use condoms or PrEP to keep you and your sexual partners safe.
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.
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.
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Whats The Difference Between Hiv And Aids
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. HIV and AIDS are not the same thing. And people with HIV do not always have AIDS.
HIV is the virus thats passed from person to person. Over time, HIV destroys an important kind of the cell in your immune system that helps protect you from infections. When you dont have enough of these CD4 cells, your body cant fight off infections the way it normally can.
AIDS is the disease caused by the damage that HIV does to your immune system. You have AIDS when you get dangerous infections or have a super low number of CD4 cells. AIDS is the most serious stage of HIV, and it leads to death over time.
Without treatment, it usually takes about 10 years for someone with HIV to develop AIDS. Treatment slows down the damage the virus causes and can help people stay healthy for several decades.
How Do You Get Hiv
sharing needles or syringes for shooting drugs, piercings, tattoos, etc.
getting stuck with a needle that has HIV-infected blood on it
HIV is usually spread through having unprotected sex. Using condoms and/or dental dams every time you have sex and not sharing needles can help protect you and your partners from HIV. If you do have HIV, treatment can lower or even stop the chances of spreading the virus to other people during sex. If you dont have HIV, theres also a daily medicine called PrEP that can protect you from HIV.
HIV can also be passed to babies during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. A pregnant woman with HIV can take medicine to greatly reduce the chance that her baby will get HIV.
HIV isnt spread through saliva , so you CANT get HIV from kissing, sharing food or drinks, or using the same fork or spoon. HIV is also not spread through hugging, holding hands, coughing, or sneezing. And you cant get HIV from a toilet seat.
A long time ago, some people got HIV from infected blood transfusions. But now, giving or getting blood in medical centers is totally safe. Doctors, hospitals, and blood donation centers dont use needles more than once, and donated blood is tested for HIV and other infections.
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How Is Hiv Recognized
Doctors use laboratory tests to confirm HIV infection. The Elisa and Western Blot analyses identify people who have been exposed to HIV. These tests determine if the blood contains particular antibodies that result from contact with the virus. They do not identify who among a group of infected individuals will develop the disease. The presence of antibodies or HIV markers means the person has been infected with HIV but no one can predict when and if they will get AIDS related symptoms.
Doctors diagnose AIDS by blood tests and the presence of specific illnesses such as pneumocystis carinii pneumonia or Kaposi’s sarcoma. These diseases overcome the weakened immune system and are responsible for the high death rate among AIDS patients.
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
- contact with animals or insects like mosquitoes
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Hiv Must Get Into The Bloodstream
It is not enough to be in contact with an infected fluid for HIV to be transmitted. Healthy, intact skin does not allow HIV to get into the body.
HIV can be transmitted from an infected person to another through the following infectious fluids:
- Vaginal secretions
- HIV can also be transmitted through breast milk expressed through feeding, in limited circumstances, where there is exposure to large quantities.
How Hiv Is Not Transmitted
Most kinds of physical contact, including holding hands and hugging, do not cause transmission of HIV.
HIV cannot survive long outside of the human body. This means that people cannot contract HIV from touching objects or surfaces that a person living with HIV handles.
Nor can someone transmit HIV through holding hands, hugging, or touching other people. It is important to remember that HIV transmission requires an exchange of body fluids that contain HIV.
HIV transmission can also not occur through:
- sharing food or drinks
- sharing toilet seats, dishes, or other objects
There are no known cases of anyone contracting HIV from a tattoo or body piercings. However, it is possible to contract HIV from a reused needle or improperly sanitized equipment.
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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.
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.
What Is The Hiv Continuum Of Care
The HIV care continuum is a public health model that outlines the steps or stages that people with HIV go through from diagnosis to achieving and maintaining viral suppression .
The steps are:
- Linkage to HIV medical care
- Receipt of HIV medical care
- Retention in medical care
- Achievement and maintenance of viral suppression
The HIV care continuum is useful both as an individual-level tool to assess care outcomes, as well as a population-level framework to analyze the proportion of people with HIV in a given community who are engaged in each successive step. This helps policymakers and service providers better pinpoint where gaps in services might exist and develop strategies to better support people with HIV to achieve the treatment goal of viral suppression.
Supporting people with HIV to move through the steps of the continuum to achieve and maintain viral suppression is critical. There are important health benefits to getting the viral load as low as possible: people living with HIV who get and keep an undetectable viral load can live long, healthy lives. There is also a major prevention benefit: people with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative sexual partners.
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Can You Get Other Stis From Nipple Sucking
There are certain STIs that can be spread through skin-to-skin contact, most notably herpes and human papillomavirus . It is possible to spread herpes or syphilis to any part of the breast, including the nipples and areola, Sparks says.
However, even if an STI is present on the nipples and it is technically possible that youll contract it, there is only a teeny, tiny chance of this happening. You have a better chance of getting pregnant from a Jacuzzi than getting HIV from nipple play, says Daniel Saynt, founder of the New Society for Wellness, a sex- and cannabis-friendly private club in New York City.
As we noted earlier with HIV, the potential risks of STI exposure go up very slightly if a persons nipples have open cuts or sores. But its still unlikely that you will get an STI from nipple sucking, nipple play, or anything in that same vein. Nipples and breasts simply arent moist enough to be the home of an STI. Unless your nipples are literally bleeding, youre most likely in the clear.
There is a pretty significant chance that a sexually active person will, at some point in their life, worry about contracting an STI like HIV. What leads to a lot of this nervousness is a lack of information. We dont have a standard of comprehensive sex education in this country. Its an ongoing problem that contributes to adulthood trauma around our own sexuality, STI risk, and identity.
Ways Hiv/aids Can Be Transmitted
No matter how much information there is available about AIDS and HIV, the thought of it makes a person shudder. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV is the virus responsible for AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. This virus attacks the immune system and over time leaves the body defenseless against other infections and types of cancer. Till date, there is no cure for HIV or AIDS. However, what we do know is how the disease can be transmitted from one person to another. Knowing this enables us to control the transmission of the disease…
Unlike other viruses, HIV cannot be transmitted through air, water etc. This virus can only be transmitted through:
Receiving blood transfusions from an HIV positive person is sure to put you at risk of suffering from the disease as well. For this reason, it is essential to only take blood from registered blood banks that run HIV screening tests. This holds true for organ and tissue transplants as well. Being stuck with an HIV infected needle can also put you at risk of coming in contact the virus. In some cases, direct contact between broken skin, wounds and mucus membranes can also lead to the transferring of HIV cells from one person to another. HIV does not spread through saliva, however, if while kissing, both partners suffer from bleeding gums and one partner is HIV positive, there is a risk of the transference of HIV from one person to the other.
From a mother to an unborn child-
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There Needs To Be Enough Virus
The concentration of HIV determines whether infection will occur. In blood, for example, the virus is very concentrated. A small amount of blood is enough to infect someone. The concentration of virus in blood or other fluids can change, in the same person, over time. People who take HIV medications as prescribed can have very low quantities of HIV present in bodily fluids, greatly reducing the risk of transmitting HIV to their partners.
It is important to note that HIV is a very fragile virus that will die quickly when exposed to light and air. Exposure to small amounts of dried blood or other infectious fluids is not a realistic risk for HIV transmission.
How Is Hiv Transmitted
Not all body fluids can transmit HIV. The following cannot transmit HIV:
- Exchanging saliva, like through closed-mouth kissing or sharing drinks/utensils
- Coming in contact with an HIV positive personâs tears, sneezes, or sweat
- Ordinary physical contact, such as hugging, hand shaking, or touching shared objects like cutlery, cups, or toilet seats .
- Pets and insects cannot carry the virus and infect you, because transmission of HIV is only between humans .
While care needs to be taken in some situationsâlike when having sex or when open injuries are presentâthis certainly does not mean that it is unsafe to be around people with HIV. Think of how you interact with the vast majority of peopleâbodily fluids are not exchanged. Harboring discriminatory thoughts only perpetuates a fearful stigma against someone with HIV, which only hurts the person who has it.
HIV is often transmitted through sexual activity and drug use in adults in the United States . Maternal transmissionâfrom mother to childâis how the infection is spread to infants .
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Get Treatment For Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sexually transmitted infections increase the chance of both spreading and contracting HIV. If a person has HIV and another STI, that person has greater the chance of transmitting HIV, as opposed to a person who only has HIV but no other STI .
This works both waysâa person who does not have HIV but does have another STI has a greater chance of contracting HIV if they have unprotected sex with someone who has HIV . This is because STIs that cause open sores or irritation which breaks the skinâs barrier provide an entrance for HIV to enter the body during all types of unprotected sex .
Other STIs that donât cause openings in the skin can still increase the risk of contracting HIV. This is because STIs cause inflammation to the genital area, drawing in more immune cells to the area, which are the target for HIV .