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.
Answer: Nipple Sucking And Hiv Risk
The question of whether you can get HIV by sucking someones nipples is an important one. It gets even more interesting when you add lactation into the mix. While there are a host of myths around the ways HIV is spread, it is true that breast milk is one of the few bodily fluids in which potentially infectious levels of HIV can actually exist.
As Ness Cooper, a clinical sexologist at The Sex Consultant, points out, forced lactation or lactation play is a practice in the kink community. This is when a lactating person forces the other person to drink their breast milk as a part of consensual sexual play.
Babies and fetuses can get HIV during pregnancy and through breastfeeding. But what are the implications for adults? Is it possible to get HIV through nipple sucking? And can you get other sexually transmitted infections from nipple sucking?
Lube Can Make Sex Fun And Safer
Using lube isnât just for enhancing sexual funâitâs can also make sex even safer. Using lube helps to decrease the friction between skin and/or condom, which provides enjoyably smooth gliding movements and decreases the rate of condom breaking, or tearing during anal sex . Water-based lubes and silicone-based lubes are both safe to use with female and male condoms. However, oil-based lubes should not be used with latex condoms, as they can dissolve the latex of the condom and may cause latex condoms to break .
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Nipple Sucking And Hiv Spread In Fetuses And Newborns
For fetuses and newborns, exposure to HIV is possible during pregnancy, delivery, or shortly after birth by consuming breast milk from a lactating HIV-positive person. This can happen because the not-yet-developed immune system of a baby makes them more susceptible to infection, according to Taylor Sparks, a sex educator and the founder of Organic Loven, an online organic intimacy shop.
If you are pregnant, regardless of relationship status or sexual history, its wise to get an HIV test. If you are living with HIV, your health care providers can help you stay healthy and prevent your baby from becoming HIV positive.
For adults who are interacting with a persons breasts, the situation is very different from that of fetuses and babies.
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 .
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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 enter through an open cut or sore, or through contact with mucous membranes. Transmission risk is very high when HIV comes in contact with the more porous mucous membranes in the genitals, anus, and rectum, which are inefficient barriers to HIV. Although very rare, transmission is also possible through oral sex because body fluids can enter the bloodstream through cuts in the mouth.
HIV can be transmitted from an infected person to another through the following infectious fluids:
- Vaginal secretions
- Rectal fluids
- HIV can also be transmitted through breast milk expressed through feeding, in limited circumstances, where there is exposure to large quantities.
Do Mosquitoes Pose Any Other Threats
Mosquito-borne diseases are the most common and dangerous threat from mosquitoes. But in rare cases, mosquito bites can also cause severe allergic reactions.
If you have trouble breathing or swelling in your face or throat after being bitten by a mosquito, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately. These are symptoms of a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which can be life threatening.
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Hiv Among Different Communities
Though anyone can be infected by HIV, some groups of people are disproportionately affected. For instance, people in the Black and Latinx communities have higher rates of HIV compared with other racial and ethnic groups.
Men who have sex with men are also disproportionately affected. MSM account for 70% of new cases each year, but make up about 2% of the general population.
How Hiv Infects The Body
HIV infects the immune system, causing progressive damage and eventually making it unable to fight off infections.
The virus attaches itself to immune system cells called CD4 lymphocyte cells, which protect the body against various bacteria, viruses and other germs.
Once attached, it enters the CD4 cells and uses it to make thousands of copies of itself. These copies then leave the CD4 cells, killing them in the process.
This process continues until eventually the number of CD4 cells, also called your CD4 count, drops so low that your immune system stops working.
This process may take up to 10 years, during which time you’ll feel and appear well.
Page last reviewed: 22 April 2021 Next review due: 22 April 2024
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Can I Transmit Hiv To My Baby During Pregnancy Or Breastfeeding
An HIV-infected pregnant woman can pass the virus on to her unborn baby either before or during birth. HIV can also be passed on during breastfeeding. If a woman knows that she is infected with HIV, there are drugs she can take to greatly reduce the chances of her child becoming infected. Other ways to lower the risk include choosing to have a caesarean section delivery and not breastfeeding.
Mother To Infant Transmission
It is possible for a mother who has HIV to pass the virus to her baby by exposure to blood and vaginal fluids during birth or through breast milk during feeding. The risk of transmission from mother to child during pregnancy or birth can be greatly reduced by taking certain HIV medications as prescribed.
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Can You Get Hiv From Breast Milk
For adults, its important to remember that HIV is transmitted by the passage of the virus from one person to another by having the virus come in contact with the blood of another, explains Felice Gersh, M.D., OB/GYN, director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, and author of Menopause: 50 Things You Need to Know. The virus enters the body through any opening of the skin or mucous membranesoften through an unseen and unknown tear in the vagina or anusand through cuts, punctures, or wounds.
Daniel Boyer, M.D., a specialist in internal medicine, gynecology, and obstetrics, tellsTheBody that people have nothing to worry about when it comes to HIV transmission through breast milk. You cannot get HIV from sucking nipples of a lactating mother, because the amount of HIV from the milk is not significant enough to be an infection in adults even if you have broken mucous membranes in your mouth linings, he explains.
It breaks down to this: When ingested, the amount of HIV in breast milk isnt enough to take on the adult immune system. You cant get HIV by sucking on a persons healthy nipple.
One circumstance that may make HIV transmission more likely is if there are open sores or wounds directly on a persons nipples. If the nipples are damaged from extreme play leading to cuts, you may be at greater risk of spreading HIV, Cooper says. This is the case regardless of the biological sex of the person youre engaging in nipple play withmale, female, or otherwise.
How Could You Get Hiv From Contact With Blood
The risk of HIV transmission through blood comes when the person has a detectable viral load and their blood enters another persons body or comes into contact with a mucous membrane. These are parts of the body with wet, absorbent skin such as the:
- inside of the anus
Theres also a risk if blood from a person who has a detectable viral load comes into contact with a cut or broken skin, giving HIV a way through the skin and into someones bloodstream. If blood gets onto skin that isnt broken, there is no risk.
In a medical setting, its possible for HIV to be transmitted by someone accidentally cutting themselves with a blade or needle they have used to treat a person living with HIV.
This is called a needlestick injury. The risk of being infected in this way is very low. However, if someone thinks they have been exposed to HIV through a needlestick injury, post-exposure prophylaxis may be an option.
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Pregnancy Or Breastfeeding Transmission
There are a few ways HIV can be passed from a pregnant person to a baby. During pregnancy, the virus can be transmitted to the fetus through the placenta. It can be transmitted during childbirth through contact with blood or other body fluids that contain the virus.
Because the virus can also be detected in breastmilk, it’s possible for a baby to contract HIV through breastfeeding.
In the absence of intervention or treatment, the rate of HIV transmission from a parent living with HIV to their child during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or breastfeeding ranges from 15% to 45%.
If You Think You’ve Been Exposed To Hiv
HIV hotlines are used to getting calls from people who are afraid they have been infected through casual contact. Perhaps the person was involved in a fight or came into contact with someone who was bleeding. Others may worry about having deep kissed someone who may have HIV.
While infection by these means is statistically zero, people will often want a 100% guarantee that they’re going to be fine. In such cases, doctors will often take the opportunity to perform an HIV test and counsel the individual on how to protect themselves against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
If there is an actual risk of transmission, the doctor may prescribe a 28-day course of HIV medications known as post-exposure prophylaxis . If started within 72 hours of a suspected exposure, PEP may be able to avert the infection.
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It Would Take Too Many Bites
HIV actually isnt very easily transmittable. It takes a large amount of the virus being transmitted for someone to contract it.
Even if some HIV were still in a mosquitos body when it bit you if it had yet to be fully digested there wouldnt be enough of it to transmit to you.
HIV is transmitted through direct contact with certain bodily fluids that contain HIV. These fluids include:
- rectal fluids
These fluids must enter the persons body for them to contract HIV.
HIV is mainly transmitted through sex without a condom or other barrier method, and through the sharing of needles.
In some cases, HIV can be transmitted during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. However, antiretroviral therapy can greatly lower the risk of this occurring, and its safe to take during pregnancy.
HIV is highly unlikely to be transmitted through saliva.
HIV can only be transmitted when a person with the virus has a detectable viral load . Taking daily medication for HIV can lead to an undetectable viral load, which means HIV cant be transmitted to others.
Can I Become Infected With Hiv If I Inject Drugs And Share The Needles With Someone Else Without Sterilizing The Needles
We strongly recommend that you use new equipment every time you inject. You can get new equipment from Counterpoint Needle & Syringe Program at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection.
There is a possibility of becoming infected with HIV if you share injecting equipment with someone who has the virus. If HIV infected blood remains inside the needle or in the syringe and someone else then uses it to inject themselves, that blood can be flushed into the bloodstream. Sharing needles, syringes, spoons, filters or water can pass on the virus. Disinfecting equipment between uses can reduce the likelihood of transmission, but does not eliminate it.
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Hiv Transmission Through Other Sexual Activities
HIV is also sometimes transmitted during oral sex . It may occasionally be passed from an HIV-positive person to someone sucking their penis.
Oral sex is much less risky than vaginal or anal sex, but it is not risk free. The risk depends on the viral load of the person with HIV, the dental health of the person performing oral sex and untreated sexually transmitted infections.
“Not every act of unprotected sex with an HIV-positive person results in HIV transmission.”
HIV can be transmitted by sharing sex toys such as dildos or butt plugs. They should be covered with condoms or disinfected between use by different people.
What Are The Potential Routes Of The Spread Of Hiv
For some exposures, although transmission is biologically possible, the risk is so low that it is not possible to put a precise number on it. This includes deep kissing or indulging in oral sex.
The main routes for HIV transmission are as follows.
- Sexual route: Receptive anal sex is the riskiest sexual behavior associated with HIV transmission with a 1.4 percent risk. Insertive anal sex carries a 0.06 to 0.62 percent risk. Receptive vaginal sex can pose a risk of 0.08 percent, whereas insertive vaginal sex poses an estimated risk of 0.04 percent. Remember that transmission can occur after just one exposure.
- You are at a higher risk of infection if:
- You already have a sexually transmitted infection .
- You engage in activities that can cause tearing and inflammation such as rough sex, longer sex, douching, enemas before anal sex, and tooth brushing, flossing, or dental work before oral sex.
- Your partner has a high viral load during sex. This is particularly observed during the first few weeks of getting infected or when an infected person does not take medications for HIV treatment. Proper treatment not only improves health but also lowers the viral load, thereby reducing the risk of infection transmission.
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What Diseases Do Mosquitoes Transmit
Although mosquitoes cant transmit HIV, there are many diseases they do transmit.
Mosquitoes in different parts of the world transmit different diseases. This is due to the fact that different pathogens thrive in different environments. In addition, different mosquito species often transmit different diseases.
Diseases that mosquitoes transmit include:
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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How Do You Get Or Transmit Hiv
You can only get HIV by coming into direct contact with certain body fluids from a person with HIV who has a detectable viral load. These fluids are:
- Semen and pre-seminal fluid
- Rectal fluids
- Vaginal fluids
- Breast milk
For transmission to occur, the HIV in these fluids must get into the bloodstream of an HIV-negative person through a mucous membrane , through open cuts or sores, or by direct injection .
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 partnersthrough sex.