Who Does Hiv Affect
Its a myth that HIV only infects certain people. Anyone can get HIV if theyre exposed to the virus. Having sex without a condom or sharing needles to inject drugs are the most common ways that HIV spreads.
Some populations are statistically more affected by HIV than others. Groups disproportionately affected by HIV include:
- People who identify as gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men .
- Certain races such as people who are Black or Hispanic.
- Those who exchange sex for money or other items are also at high risk for HIV infection.
While these arent the only populations impacted by HIV, its important to consider that they face unique barriers to accessing preventative care, getting tested, and receiving comprehensive treatment. Homophobia, racism, poverty, and social stigmas around HIV continue to drive inequities and keep people from accessing high-quality healthcare.
How Common Is Hiv
The number of people living with HIV in the UK continues to rise. This is because more cases are being diagnosed and people are living longer due to more effective medication
The most recent statistics on the number of people in Northern Ireland living with HIV are available from the Public Health Agency website.
Hiv/aids: Why Dont Some People Get Sick
Itâs a medical mystery that has baffled scientists for nearly two decades. How do some HIV-infected people, about one in 300, keep the virus at such a low level that they donât get sick with full blown AIDS, even if they donât take medicine?
Now, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University think they have a clue.
Itâs in the genes, they say, specifically five amino acids in a protein called HLA-B.
âWe found that, of the three billion nucleotides in the human genome, just a handful make the difference between those who can stay healthy in spite of HIV infection and those who, without treatment, will develop AIDS,â said study co-author Dr. Bruce Walker, MD, director of the Ragon Institute, in a statement.
Never heard of HLA-B?
Well, the protein plays a vital role in the immune system by grabbing onto pieces of a virus and bringing them into the cell membrane where they get tagged for destruction by âkillerâ T cells. Researchers believe the shape and structure of five critical amino acids on HLA-B help determine whether the immune system can outfox HIV viruses or not.
At this point itâs high science, but understanding how some people naturally fight HIV, researchers say, is critical to curing it for everyone else.
âWe have a long way to go before translating this into a treatment for infected patients and a vaccine to prevent infection,â Walker said, âbut we are an important step closer.â
The study was published in Science.
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A Sexually Transmitted Infection
Katie Salerno/Flickr Creative Commons
Contracting other sexually transmitted diseases can significantly increase the risk of getting HIV. For instance, some STDs like syphilis and herpes cause skin lesions that make it easier for HIV to enter the body.
STDs may also cause inflammation, which is something that is triggered by the bodys immune system. HIV preferentially infects defensive white blood cells, so when there are more of them around, its easier to contract HIV.
Having an STD like gonorrhea or syphilis means that youve engaged in unprotected sex, a key risk factor for HIV. So if you have been diagnosed with an STD, talk to your healthcare provider about how you can reduce your HIV risk.
What Behaviors Are The Most Risky For Getting Or Transmitting Hiv
Since there is a fairly high number of people who have HIV and dont know it, you should be tested for HIV so you know your status. Being intoxicated is risky because you are more likely to engage in risky sex if you are drunk or high. In terms of sex acts, anal sex and vaginal intercourse are the most risky behaviors.
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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.
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
- breast milk
- contact with animals or insects like mosquitoes
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Saliva Sweat Tears Urine Or Feces
HIV cannot be spread by sharing drinking glasses or by casual kissing. The risk of spreading the virus through deep kissing in which large amounts of saliva are exchanged is extremely low. Only one unproven case has ever been reported.
No cases of HIV spread have ever been reported after a person has come in contact with the sweat, tears, urine, or feces of an HIV-infected person.
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Is It True That Gay Men Are More At Risk For Hiv Than Other People
Although anyone can be at risk for HIV, some people can be more at risk depending upon the types of sexual practices and drug use they are engaging in. Being gay does not necessarily mean you are at higher risk, but certain activities gay men sometimes participate in might put them at greater risk. Overall, the gay male population in Canada has higher rates of HIV infection than some other populations. Stigma and homophobia can affect a person’s ability to access information about safer sex specifically for gay men.
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What Are The Chances Of Becoming Infected If He Doesnt Ejaculate Inside Me
While research suggests that high concentrations of HIV can sometimes be detected in precum, 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 by using condoms.
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.
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What Is The Risk From Oral Sex
According to Public Health England, around 1-3% of sexual HIV transmissions in the UK are because of oral sex. Other studies found that the risk is very low but is not zero.
Unprotected anal and vaginal sex leads to far more HIV infections than oral sex.
The risks are higher if the person giving oral sex has:
- cuts, sores or abrasions in their mouth or gums
- a sore throat or infection in the mouth or throat.
Or if the person receiving oral sex is:
- HIV positive
How Can I Take Care Of Myself While Living With Hiv
It’s very important to take your medications as prescribed and to make sure you dont miss appointments. This is called treatment adherence.
If you miss medications, even by accident, HIV can change how it infects your cells , potentially causing your medications to stop working. If your schedule prevents you from taking medications on time or making it to appointments, talk to your healthcare provider.
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Can Fiv Be Transmitted Through Litter Box
Blood transfusions, deep bite wounds, and the transmission of FIV via intercourse are all common ways for cats to contract the disease, but nursing kittens can also contract it via their mothers milk or by intercourse. You can prevent FIV from spreading between cats by not sharing a litter box, a sleeping area, toys, water bowl, or other items with them.
Blood Transfusions And Organ Donation
The risk of contracting HIV from a blood transfusion, other blood products, or organ donation is now extremely rare in the United States. All donated blood or blood products in the United States are for several types of bloodborne pathogens, including HIV.
Organ donations are also screened for HIV. Although very rare, its possible for HIV transmission to occur following an organ transplant.
However, testing of organ recipients after surgery can quickly detect transmission so that antiretroviral medications can be started promptly.
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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.
Is There Any Treatment Of A Cure For Hiv/aids
Currently, there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. People living with HIV will need lifelong treatment. The best treatments right now are combinations of prescription drugs. These medications include antiviral treatment, protease inhibitors and other drugs that help people who are living with HIV stay healthy. People living with HIV also can stay healthy by doing things like eating properly, exercising and getting enough sleep.
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When Is The Risk Greater
These factors can increase the risk of HIV transmission through oral sex:
- Status. Risk varies based on whether the person who is HIV-positive is giving or receiving oral sex. If the HIV-positive person is receiving oral sex, the person giving it may have a higher risk.
- Viral load. Theres a larger risk of contracting HIV if the HIV-positive person has a high viral load, which increases infectivity. If the viral load is undetectable, theres a much lower chance of transmitting the virus.
- Ejaculation. During oral sex, ejaculation may increase the risk of transmission.
- Cuts, sores, or ulcers. Openings in the mouth, vagina, anus, or on the penis are possible routes for HIV transmission for example, if a persons gums bleed after they brush their teeth or if they have lesions in their mouth as a result of another condition. HIV-related infections, like candidiasis, can cause sores that affect the integrity of the tissue in the mouth.
- Menstruation. HIV levels can be higher in vaginal fluid when a person is menstruating. Coming into contact with menstrual blood with the mouth may then increase contraction risk.
- STIs. Having an STI can
As there is some evidence that HIV can be transmitted through oral sex, its best to take measures to reduce the risk of transmission.
Can I Get Pregnant If I Have Hiv
Some people think that HIV hurts your chances of getting pregnant, but this isnt true. If you have HIV and want to become pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider. Together you can make a plan before you try to get pregnant to keep you, your partner and any future children healthy.
HIV can spread to your partner during unprotected sex and to your baby during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. Taking ART medications can greatly reduce your risk of transmitting HIV to your baby, especially if you have an undetectable viral load. Your provider may recommend that you dont breastfeed your baby and use formula instead.
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Do Condoms Stop Hiv Being Passed On
Yes.Using a condom correctly prevents contact with semen or vaginal secretions , stopping HIV from being passed on. The virus cannot pass through the latex of the condom.
Condoms should only be used with a water-based lubricant as oil-based lube weakens them.
People with HIV who are on effective treatment and have an undetectable viral load cannot pass on HIV through any of their body fluids.
Its also important to remember that if you have sex without a condom other sexually transmitted infections can be passed on.
Sex without a condom can also result in pregnancy if other contraception is not being used.
How Hiv Spreads
HIV transmission can be prevented! There are ways to avoid, or at least reduce, contact with body fluids that transmit HIV. This fact sheet explains how.
Many people still do not understand how HIV is passed, or transmitted, from one person to another. Knowing the basics helps you avoid acquiring HIV. If you are living with HIV, these basics help you avoid transmitting HIV to someone else.
HIV is transmitted, or spread, through contact with the following body fluids:
- Blood including menstrual blood and any blood in saliva , urine , and feces
- Semen and other male sexual fluids
- Vaginal fluids
- Breast milk
When a person living with HIV is taking HIV drugs and their viral load has stayed at undetectable levels , that person cannot sexually transmit HIV to a partner. This is called treatment as prevention, and is often represented in the HIV community by the simple phrase undetectable equals untransmittable, or “U=U.” For more information on this development, see our fact sheet Undetectable Equals Untransmittable: Building Hope and Ending HIV Stigma.
HIV is also spread through contact with the body fluids below. However, usually only health care workers come into contact with these fluids. These fluids are:
- Cerebrospinal fluid around the brain and spinal cord
- Synovial fluid around the joints
- Amniotic fluid around a developing fetus
HIV is not spread through contact with these body fluids:
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How You Get Hiv
HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person,which includes semen, vaginal and anal fluids, blood, and breast milk. To get HIV, one of these fluids from someone with HIV has to get into your blood.
HIV is a fragile virus and does not survive outside the body for long. HIV is most commonly transmitted through vaginal or anal sex without a condom.
Other ways of getting HIV include:
- using a contaminated needle, syringe or other equipment to inject drugs
- transmission from a mother to her child before, during or shortly after birth however, with medical treatment it is possible to prevent the virus from being passed on by a mother to her child
- through blood transfusions however, since 1985 all blood donated in the UK must be screened for HIV – screening policies in the developing world may not be as rigorous, so there is a possible risk of developing HIV if you receive a blood transfusion in certain parts of the world
- through oral sex or sharing sex toys
HIV cannot be transmitted from:
- being sneezed on by someone with HIV
- sharing baths, towels or cutlery with an HIV-infected person
- swimming in a pool or sitting on a toilet seat that someone with HIV has used
- animals or insects such as mosquitoes
Saliva, sweat and urine do not contain enough of the HIV virus to infect another person.