Factors That Increase Hiv Risk
Viral load is the amount of HIV virus particles in the blood of someone who has HIV. The higher someones viral load, the more likely that person is to transmit HIV. Viral load is highest during the acute phase of HIV and without antiretroviral therapy .
Taking ART daily as prescribed can make the viral load very lowso low that a test cant detect it . People with HIV who keep an undetectable viral load can live long, healthy lives. Having an undetectable viral load also helps prevent transmitting the virus to others through sex or sharing needles, syringes, or other injection equipment, and from perinatal transmission during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding.
OTHER SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS
If you have another sexually transmitted infection , such as syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, or herpes simplex virus , you may be more likely to get or transmit HIV. Getting tested and treated for STIs can lower your chances of getting or transmitting HIV and other STIs.
If you have HIV and get and keep an undetectable viral load, getting an STI does not appear to increase the risk of transmitting HIV. But STIs can cause other problems.
If youre sexually active, you and your partners should get tested for STIs, even if you dont have symptoms. Find out more about STIs here. To get tested for HIV or other STIs, find a testing site near you.
ALCOHOL AND DRUG USE
WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE MOST RISKY?
WHAT ABOUT ORAL SEX?
THE BOTTOM LINE
No 6 Having Oral Sex: Negligible
The odds of contracting HIV during oral sex are slim to none. Thats because the virus isnt transmitted through saliva, tears, or sweat unless its also mixed with blood. If an HIV-positive man ejaculates in his partners mouth, however and, for example, the partner has an open sore or bleeding gums experts say that it might theoretically be possible to pass along the virus.
- Reduce the risk. Using a condom or dental dam can help lower the risk of transmitting not only HIV but other STDs, including syphilis, herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. People can also reduce their risk by having their HIV-positive partner ejaculate into a condom or by removing their mouth from the penis before ejaculation.
Are You At High Risk
PrEP is a medication that is recommended for people who are at a high risk of HIV transmission. Some of the leading causes of HIV transmission include:
- Engaging in unprotected sex with a partner who is HIV positive or whose HIV status is unknown.
- Engaging in unprotected sex with partners who have additional sexual partners.
- Having unprotected sex if you have been diagnosed with an STI.
- Sharing needles or syringes.
The only way HIV can be transmitted to another person is through contact with blood, semen, or vaginal fluids. It is also important to note that uncircumcised males are at a slightly higher risk of contracting HIV since they are more prone to bacteria and infections. There is evidence that male circumcision can also reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
Homosexual and bisexual males are typically at a higher risk of contracting HIV. The transmission rate through anal sex is more than ten times greater than through vaginal intercourse. Receptive anal sex also has a higher transmission rate, meaning that the risk of HIV transmission is higher for bottoms than for tops.
However, this does not mean that tops are not at risk as the insertive partner may also contract HIV through anal intercourse. So, whether you are a top, a bottom, or versatile, you could be at a high risk of HIV transmission, and you should consider taking PrEP.
You May Like: How Soon Does Hiv Show Up
What Does Prep Do
PrEP is a medication that helps to reduce the risk of HIV transmission by preventing the virus from multiplying or growing within the body. PrEP is a combination of two drugs which help to fight off infection and also stop HIV from reproducing within a healthy host.
Before a person can be prescribed PrEP by their doctor, they must first be tested for HIV. PrEP is intended to be taken before a person is exposed therefore, if they already have HIV, they need to seek another HIV treatment as opposed to PrEP.
PrEP must be taken daily for at least seven days before it is effective at preventing HIV transmission through anal sex. This is because PrEP tends to collect in the colorectal tissue first before it is more present in other bodily tissues. However, it is still recommended that condoms are used during intercourse for additional protection.
No 5 Having Vaginal Sex : 1 In 2500
A woman who is HIV positive can transmit the virus to her male partner through vaginal fluid and blood, which may pass through the urethra , the foreskin , or any open sores on the penis.
- Reduce the risk. Using a condom and water- or silicone-based lubricants, which can help lessen the chance that condoms will break or slip can help reduce a mans risk of getting HIV from an HIV-positive partner. Female condoms, which are made of a synthetic latex called nitrile and fit into the vagina during sex, are as protective as male condoms.
Read Also: How Long Can One Live With Hiv
How Can You Prevent Getting Or Transmitting Hiv Through Sex
There are several ways to prevent getting or transmitting HIV through anal or vaginal sex.
If you are HIV-negative, you can use HIV prevention medicine known as pre-exposure prophylaxis or post-exposure prophylaxis to protect yourself. You can also use other HIV prevention methods, below.
If you have HIV, the most important thing you can do to prevent transmission and stay healthy is to take HIV medicine exactly as prescribed. 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 HIV to their HIV-negative partners through sex. This is sometimes called HIV treatment as prevention or undetectable = untransmittable . There also are other options to prevent transmitting HIV, below.
What Should I Know About Anal Sex And Hiv Risk
Anal intercourse when one partner inserts their penis into the other partners anus is a highly risky activity for transmission of HIV as well as other sexually-transmitted infections .
Anal sex partners are usually described as tops and bottoms .
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , bottom partners are 13 times more likely to become infected with HIV than top partners.
Why is anal sex so risky?
During anal sex, partners can come into contact with body fluids like blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, and rectal fluid. These fluids can contain HIV.
Viruses and bacteria can enter the top partners body through cuts and sores on the penis or a finger. Sometimes, these cuts are so small, you dont even know they are there.
The anatomy of the anus makes transmission riskier for the bottom partner. The lining of the anus is thin and does not lubricate like the vagina does. As a result, it can tear, making it easier for viruses and bacteria to enter.
Other STIs, including gonorrhea and chlamydia, can be spread through anal sex as well.
Talking to a doctor
Unfortunately, not all people tell their doctors that they have anal sex. For many, anal sex is taboo and participants are reluctant to discuss it at all. Some feel embarrassed or ashamed.
The study authors encouraged healthcare providers to help patients become more comfortable with the topic of anal sex.
Safe anal sex
People who have anal sex should make sure they do so safely:
Don’t Miss: Is Hiv Part Of Std Testing
What Medication Is Available
There are currently two medications approved by the FDA for PrEP: Truvada and Descovy.
Both of these medications can be up to 99% effective at HIV prevention when taken correctly. However, the notable difference between these medications is that Descovy is currently only approved for use in cisgender males and transgender females, while Truvada is approved for all genders.
PrEP does not have any significant health effects even with long-term use, but you may experience some side effects, such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Changes in weight
Some more severe side effects that may occur can be kidney issues, liver problems, or bone density loss. But these often occur in people who had health issues prior to taking PrEP. Ultimately, it is between you and your doctor to determine whether or not PrEP is the best choice for you.
Male Vs Female Partners
When having vaginal sex without a condom with a partner who has a penis, the vaginal membranes are more likely to tear than the partners penis.
In condomless anal sex with a partner who has a penis, the rectal membranes are also more likely to tear than the partners penis. Microscopic tears create an easier path for HIV and other STIs to enter the body when exposed.
Its possible for a partner with a penis to contract HIV during vaginal and anal sex. If a female partner is living with HIV with a detectable viral load, it can be carried in her vaginal secretions. If her partner has open sores on their mouth or penis, they can create a gateway for vaginal secretions or other bodily fluids with HIV to enter the body.
Uncircumcised men are at higher risk of contracting HIV from condomless sex than circumcised men. The delicate membranes of foreskin can tear during sex, creating a pathway for HIV to enter the body.
You May Like: How Long Can You Have Hiv Without Knowing It
General Information And Distribution Of Sexual Roles
The average age of the 601 MSMs was 28.2 ± 6.6years Among them, 473 had a college degree or above 174 had a monthly income of more than 4000RMB 499 were unmarried and 376 were self-identified as gays . Among them, 164 identified themselves as tops, 92 as bottoms, and 345 as versatiles. The bottoms were generally younger, with lower monthly income and self-identified as homosexuals. The tops were older, with higher monthly income, more were married, and self-identified as heterosexuals .
Can I Get Hiv From Vaginal Sex
- Vaginal sex is less risky for getting HIV than receptive anal sex.
- Either partner can get HIV during vaginal sex.
- Most women who get HIV get it from vaginal sex. HIV can enter a womans body during vaginal sex through the mucous membranes that line the vagina and cervix.
- Men can also get HIV during vaginal sex. This is because vaginal fluid and blood can carry HIV. Men get HIV 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.
Recommended Reading: Can People With Hiv Have Sex
Risks To Insertive And Receptive Partners
There is a widespread belief among gay men that the insertive partner is at very low risk of HIV infection. It is true that HIV infection occurs less frequently in men who solely take the insertive role than in men who engage in both roles, or men who practise receptive anal intercourse only .
However, being the insertive partner in condomless sex remains a high-risk activity. The per-act risk for the insertive partner in anal sex is comparable to the per-act risk for the male partner in vaginal sex.
The receptive partner is at risk of infection from HIV in the semen and pre-seminal fluids of the infected partner. Rectal tissue is delicate and easily damaged, which can give the virus direct access to the bloodstream. However, such tissue damage is not necessary for infection to occur: the rectal tissue itself is rich in cells which are directly susceptible to infection.
The insertive partner is also at risk of infection, as there are high levels of HIV in rectal secretions, as well as blood from the rectal tissues . This creates a risk of transmission to the insertive partner through the tissue in the urethra and on the head of the penis particularly underneath the foreskin.
Several systematic reviews of studies have calculated that condomless receptive anal intercourse posed approximately ten to twelve times greater risk of infection than insertive anal intercourse.
What Are My Chances Of Contracting Hiv
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
What is HIV?
Human immunodeficiency virus attacks and weakens the immune system, making an individual more vulnerable to serious illness. Untreated HIV can lead to AIDS, which occurs when the immune system is so weak it becomes susceptible to serious infections and some cancers.
Theres an epidemic of HIV in the United States and around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , more than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and 1 in 7 of them arent aware of it. An estimated 39,782 people in the country were diagnosed with HIV in 2016 alone.
HIV transmission occurs in many different ways, including through condomless sex and by sharing needles. Risk of transmission varies depending on several factors including:
- sexual practices and the HIV status of sexual partners
- sharing needles for drug use or tattoos
- use of PrEP, PEP, condoms, or having an undetectable viral load
Its important to understand the risk level based on actual factors in preventing the transmission of HIV.
You May Like: When To Start Hiv Treatment
Can I Get Hiv From Anal Sex
- 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.
Is The Risk Of Hiv Different For Different Groups
HIV can affect anyone regardless of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, gender, age, or where they live. However, certain groups of people in the United States are more likely to get HIV than others because of particular factors, including the communities in which they live, what subpopulations they belong to, and their risk behaviors.
Communities. When you live in a community where many people have HIV, the chance of being exposed to the virus by having sex or sharing needles or other injection equipment with someone who has HIV is higher. You can use CDCs HIV, STD, hepatitis, and tuberculosis Atlas Plus to see the percentage of people with HIV in different U.S. counties and states, as well as other data. Within any community, the prevalence of HIV can vary among different subpopulations.
Subpopulations. In the United States, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are the population most affected by HIV. According to CDC, of the 30,635 new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. in 2020, 68% were among gay and bisexual men.a By race/ethnicity, Blacks/African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Also, transgender women who have sex with men are among the groups at highest risk for HIV infection. People who inject drugs remain at significant risk for getting HIV as well.
Visit our U.S. Statistics page for more information on how HIV affects different populations.
Read Also: How Easy Is It To Get Hiv
Study Design Site And Population
The study was conducted at a local non-governmental organization which was established in 2008 and located in the urban area of central Changsha, the capital city of Hunan Province in south-central China. Considering the strong discrimination against MSMs in this city, the main approach to involving MSMs in free HIV testing is through NGO services for MSMs. The staff of this organization has been trained for HIV-related counseling services. With guidance and support from the Changsha Centre for Disease Control and Prevention , HIV prevention services were provided for MSMs, including peer education, condom distribution, and peer support. For MSMs who needed HIV testing service, the NGO staff would provide pre-test counseling, blood sampling, post-test counseling, referral services, as well as continuous support if needed. The NGO staff sent the blood samples to CDC for the screening test and confirmatory test . The laboratory test for HIV was free. Some MSMs chose to pay RMB 30 for a rapid test on the site. The site successfully collaborated with the Bill & Melinda Gates and the Global AIDS Foundations and more than 1000 people received HIV testing each year.
A gift package rather than direct payment was given to the participants as a compensation for time and transportation after the survey. The primary researchers provided their contact information to the participants and promised medical advice and help if needed.
The Chance Of Hiv Transmission Through One
This table shows the chance of contracting HIV through one-time unprotected rectal sex with a partner who is HIV-positive. As you can see, the chance of the âbottomâ person contracting the disease from an HIV-positive âtopâ is much greater than the other way around.
|Per exposure||1 transmission per 72 exposures||1 transmission per 909 exposures|
Read Also: How Is Hiv Most Commonly Transmitted