How Do You Get Hiv From Sex
HIV is transmitted through semen , vaginal fluid, blood, and anal mucus. During sex without a condom the bodily fluids from one person can pass into the body of their sexual partner. This can happen through the mucous membranes of the penis, vagina and rectum, or sores in the mouth and throat.
You can only get HIV from someone who is living with HIV and has a detectable 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. Taking HIV medicine daily as prescribed can make the viral load very lowso low that a test cant detect it .
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 an HIV-negative partner through sex.
HIV medicine is a powerful tool for preventing sexual transmission of HIV. But it works only as long as 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 every day as prescribed and visit their healthcare provider regularly to get a viral load test. Learn more.
What Is Hiv And How Is It Transmitted
HIV is a virus that can weaken the immune system to the point that it is unable to control some infections.
HIV infection is not the same thing as AIDS. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection, when the immune system is at its weakest and a person has several specific illnesses.
AIDS is now very rare in Australia, as HIV treatments are highly effective at protecting the immune system from the virus.
Most people living with HIV in Australia can expect to live long, healthy lives without ever developing AIDS, if they are on effective treatment.
In Australia, HIV is commonly transmitted through:
- Anal or vaginal sex without the use of condoms.
- Having unprotected sex without using other prevention methods like PrEP or undetectable viral load or U=U .
- Sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment.
People who are HIV-positive and on treatment and have achieved and maintained an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV sexually.
For people who do not have HIV, regular use of condoms is the easiest way to prevent HIV.
For those at higher risk of HIV, PrEP is a medication that, when taken as prescribed, is up to 99% effective at preventing the virus.
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How Is Hiv Diagnosed
An HIV antibody test, either from a blood sample or an oral sample , can tell whether you have been infected. A negative test result means no HIV antibodies were found. This usually means you are not infected. However, if you engaged in behavior that could spread the virus within three months of having the test, antibodies may not be detectable and you should be re-tested. A positive test result means antibodies to HIV were found. This means you are infected with the virus and can pass HIV to others even if you have no symptoms. You are infected for life. Even if you think you have a low risk for HIV infection, consider getting tested whenever you have a regular medical check-up.
No 4 Having Vaginal Sex : 1 In 1250
Most women who get HIV are infected through vaginal sex. In such cases, an HIV-positive man transmits the virus to his female partner through preseminal fluid or ejaculate, which allows HIV to pass through the linings of the vagina and cervix.
- Reduce the risk. In theory, withdrawal practiced as a safety measure may help reduce a womans risk of contracting HIV from an HIV-positive partner, but because the virus can be found in preseminal fluids, the method may not be effective. Using condoms, however, can help lower the odds of transmitting HIV by 80 percent or more, according to the World Health Organization.
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Ways The Virus Can Spread And Ways It Cannot
HIV is a virus that can be transmitted from someone with HIV to someone without through body fluids like semen, blood, vaginal secretions, and breast milk. HIV is most commonly passed during unprotected sex, primarily anal and vaginal sex, but is also effectively transmitted through . HIV can also be passed from mother to child via the placenta during pregnancy or during childbirth, due to exposure to blood or vaginal fluid, or while breastfeeding.
Theresa Chiechi / Verywell
Some modes of transmission are more efficient than others. In order for HIV to be transmitted, the virus needs to come into contact with porous mucous membranes , pass through breaks and tears in tissues , or enter the bloodstream directly .
Moreover, there is needs to be ample quantities of the virus to breach the bodys frontline immune defenses. This is why HIV cannot be passed through saliva, the environment of which is hostile to the virus, or when the virus is fully suppressed in an HIV-positive person on antiretroviral therapy.
Mother To Child Transmission
Having HIV does not mean a woman cant have a healthy baby. The key is to work with a doctor to take all the necessary precautions.
Aside from blood and sexual secretions, HIV can also be transmitted during pregnancy or through breast milk while breastfeeding. Mother to child transmissions can also occur at any point during pregnancy, as well as during delivery.
All pregnant women should be screened for HIV. Antiretroviral therapy is strongly recommended for pregnant women with HIV to achieve viral suppression. This will subsequently reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to the baby during pregnancy and labor. Sometimes a caesarean delivery is recommended to reduce transmission during delivery if the infection is not suppressed.
Its also important to protect the baby after birth. Breastfeeding might not be recommended in some cases, though consistent viral suppression may reduce the transmission of HIV through breast milk. A doctor may also recommend that the baby take antiretroviral therapy for up to six weeks after birth.
Overall, great strides have been made in decreasing HIV transmission between mothers and infants due to improved screening and use of anti-HIV drugs during pregnancy.
In the United States, the
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Hiv And Getting Pregnant
If you are HIV-positive and become pregnant, or would like to have a baby, it is strongly recommended that you talk to specialists.
If you live in Victoria, The Victorian HIV Service at the Alfred Hospital and the Chronic Viral Illness Clinic at the Royal Womens Hospital can provide you with more information.
At the Chronic Viral Illness Clinic at the Royal Womens Hospital you can discuss your options with doctors who specialise in HIV and reproductive health.
This clinic specialises in helping serodiscordant couples to conceive safely.
Timing of sex to coincide with ovulation can be discussed with a healthcare provider to increase your chances of getting pregnant while reducing the risk of passing on the virus.
Can Hiv Be Transmitted Through Oral Sex
Yes, but the risk is relatively low.
HIV is transmitted through seminal and vaginal fluids, including menstrual fluids. The virus can enter the body through the bloodstream or by passing through delicate mucous membranes, such as inside the vagina, rectum or urethra.
If a person gives fellatio and has bleeding gums, a cut, or an ulcer inside their mouth, HIV could enter their bloodstream through infected fluid. This could also happen if infected fluid from a woman gets into the mouth of her partner during oral sex.
Using a condom during sex, including oral and anal sex, is the best way to prevent sexually transmitted infections , including HIV. Avoid using an oil-based lubricant, such as Vaseline or baby oil, because they can weaken the condom and increase the risk of it splitting.
You can use a dental dam to cover the anus or female genitals during oral sex. A dental dam is a latex or polyurethane square, measuring about 15cm by 15cm. It acts as a barrier to help stop STIs passing from one person to another.
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Effective Treatments Can Reduce Hiv Transmission
When someone with HIV is on antiretroviral treatment and consistently has very low levels of virus they are not infectious and cannot sexually transmit the virus.
This may be true for sexual transmission during pregnancy, but researchers are still gathering more evidence before they can be confident it is true for transmission during pregnancy, labour and delivery, and during breastfeeding.
As long as the HIV-positive partner maintains a stable undetectable viral load and these medications are taken strictly as prescribed, HIV transmission to a negative partner is not possible.
Speak to your treating doctor if you would like to explore these newer prevention drugs.
Can You Get Hiv From A Blood Transfusion
Receiving a blood transfusion or other products made from blood is safe in the UK as all blood products have been screened for infections such as HIV since 1985.
In countries that dont have strict checks on the safety of their blood supply, receiving contaminated blood can pass the virus on. This can also happen in countries that dont screen other blood products, organs or sperm.
Giving blood has never been a risk.
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If I Am Pregnant And Have Hiv Will My Baby Also Have Hiv
Most women with HIV can protect their baby from becoming infected during pregnancy. Proper pre-natal treatment can reduce the risk that an HIV-positive mother will pass the virus to her child to less than 1 percent. The only way these special treatments can be provided is if the health care professionals know the mother is living with HIV. Treatment is most effective when started early in pregnancy. HIV-positive moms should not breastfeed their babies because HIV is sometimes passed this way.
How Can I Prevent Hiv Transmission And Stds During Oral Sex
Although oral sex presents less of a risk for HIV and some STDs than vaginal or anal sex, the risk still exists. Herpes is commonly passed between genitals and the mouth, and you can get a bacterial infection in your mouth or throat from an STD. The risk of HIV transmission through oral sex is low, but people have been infected this way. Oral sex can be made safer by using a latex barrier. For oral sex performed on a man, a non-lubricated condom is recommended. For oral sex performed on a woman, a dental dam , a non-lubricated condom that is cut open or a plastic wrap can be used to cover the vagina. Oral-anal sex is a high-risk activity that may be made safer by using a dental dam.
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Can You Get Hiv From Having Sex With Someone Who Has Aids
If you have sex with someone who has AIDS, not HIV, can you still get HIV? Sarah*
Yes. People who have AIDS are infected with the HIV virus. This means they can pass HIV on to others.
AIDS happens after someone has had HIV for many years. In AIDS, the immune system is severely weakened. When someone gets HIV, that person can spread the infection to other people immediately. And if HIV develops into AIDS, the virus can spread to others.
HIV/AIDS spreads when infected blood or body fluids enter the body. This can happen:
- during sex
- through sharing needles for injecting drugs or tattooing
HIV/AIDS also can pass from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
To reduce your risk of getting HIV/AIDS if you are sexually active:
- Use a condom every time you have sex .
- Get tested for HIV and make sure all partners do too.
- Have fewer sexual partners.
- Get tested and treated for STDs having an STD increases the risk of HIV infection.
- Consider taking a medicine every day if you are at very high risk of getting infected .
It’s also important to:
- not inject drugs or share any kind of needle
- not share razors or other personal objects that may touch blood
- not touch anyone else’s blood from a cut or sore
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
All Exposures Are Not Equal
The results of several meta-analyses suggest that some types of sex carry on average a higher risk of HIV transmission than others. Below are estimates from meta-analyses that have combined the results of studies conducted in high-income countries. For types of sex where meta-analysis estimates do not exist, numbers from individual studies are provided.
A meta-analysis exploring the risk of HIV transmission through unprotected anal sex was published in 2010.1 The analysis, based on the results of four studies, estimated the risk through receptive anal sex to be 1.4%. This risk was similar regardless of whether the receptive partner was a man or woman.
No meta-analysis estimates currently exist for insertive anal sex but two individual studies were conducted to calculate this risk. The first, published in 1999, calculated the risk to be 0.06% .2 However, due to the design of the study, this number likely underestimated the risk of HIV transmission. The second study, published in 2010, was better designed and estimated the risk to be 0.11% for circumcised men and 0.62% for uncircumcised men.3
A meta-analysis of 10 studies exploring the risk of transmission through vaginal sex was published in 2009.4 It is estimated the risk of HIV transmission through receptive vaginal sex to be 0.08% .
A meta-analysis of three studies exploring the risk from insertive vaginal sex was estimated to be 0.04% .4
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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.
How To Practice Safe Sex
Using condoms regularly and correctly is the best way to prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Condoms act as barriers against semen and vaginal fluids. Always use latex condoms never use lambskin or homemade condoms, which offer little to no protection.
Still, even sex with a condom is not 100 percent risk-free. Misuse and breakage can be problems. People who are sexually active should consider getting HIV tests along with other STI testing. This can help each person understand the risk of transmitting or contracting the virus.
If one person has HIV and the other doesnt, the CDC reports that using condoms alone may lower the risk of contracting the virus by 80 percent.
For people who do not have HIV who have a sexual partner living with HIV, the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis can help reduce the risk of transmission through sex. When used daily along with other preventive measures, PrEP can reduce the risk of transmission by as much as 92 percent, according to the
. Combining condoms with antiretroviral therapy can provide even more protection. Possible exposure may also be remedied with post-exposure prophylaxis treatment.
According to the , this approach includes a combination of:
- HIV testing
- 28-day course of antiretroviral therapy for HIV
- follow-up care
Its important to note that antiretroviral therapy as a part of PEP treatment for HIV is most effective when started within 72 hours of exposure to HIV.
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What If My Baby Is Hiv
With excellent health care, the mother-to-child HIV transmission rate is almost zero.
In the very rare case, your baby is HIV-positive, there are many supportive professionals and organisations that can help you during this difficult time.
You can expect welcoming, non-judgemental and compassionate care for yourself and your baby.
Medical care for babies with HIV is highly specialised. Early diagnosis means that a baby can begin effective treatment and have every chance for a long, healthy life.
Who Is At Greater Risk
The transmission and acquisition of HIV from vaginal intercourse are high in cases of condom-less sex, both in women and men. While the risk tends to be higher among women due to biologic vulnerability , men are also at risk with everything from concurrent sexually transmitted diseases to circumcision status adding to that risk.
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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 .