Hiv Post Exposure Prophylaxis
If you think you may have been exposed to HIV and you haven’t taken PrEP medication or used a condom, you should take PEP medication.
Post exposure prophylaxis is a form of emergency HIV medication taken by someone who does not have HIV but who has or may have been very recently exposed to HIV.
PEP should be taken as soon as possible, but it can be taken up to 72 hours after exposure. The earlier it is taken the more effective it is.
PEP is available from sexual health services or out of hours from A& E.
What Is Art And How Does It Help Prevent Hiv
Antiretroviral therapy is a combination of medicines that slows down the effects of HIV in your body and can help you stay healthy for many years. It can also lower or even stop your chances of giving HIV to anyone else.
ART lowers the amount of HIV in your body sometimes to the point where HIV wont show up on standard blood tests. If your HIV viral load is so low that certain tests cant see it, its called undetectable. When someone has an undetectable viral load, they cant spread HIV to others during sex.
Its important to remember that even with an undetectable viral load, HIV is still present in your body. If you stop treatment your viral load can go up, making it possible to pass HIV to others you have sex with. Your doctor or nurse can help you find the treatment thats best for you to help keep your viral load low, so you can stay healthy.
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.
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Says The Question About How Her Hiv Infection Happened Is Unhelpful And She Feels Annoyed That
Well as I say it’s my husband, maybe he is not the one. I think it is the clinic, maybe it is not the clinic. Or maybe it’s your ex-boyfriend you met before because sometimes it can stay in your system for years without coming out. So it’s very difficult to pinpoint and say it’s this one. And that is the question we always get when we go to some of the GPs, the GPs, the question they ask you, ‘How did you get it? Do you know who gave it to you?’ It’s so annoying, its so annoying. You know, when someone is asking you that silly question ‘How did you get it?’ I went through that a long time ago when I was diagnosed and you know the memories still come back and the wound is open again. It is so awful. And they should understand that And if I knew I was going to get it I think I would have run away from HIV, because I would know that HIV is coming. But I didn’t know. I didn’t buy it!
Although people do sometimes get HIV from having unsafe sex only once, HIV transmission does not necessarily happen every time you have unprotected sex with an HIV positive partner. The risk is very low indeed if the HIV positive person is on effective treatment .
Why Do I Need To Get Tested For Hiv
The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. Many people with HIV dont have any symptoms. In the United States, about 1 in 7 people who have HIV don’t know they have it.
Once youve gotten tested for HIV:
- If you dont have HIV , you can take steps to make sure you stay HIV-free
- If you have HIV , you can take steps to have a healthier future you can also take steps to protect other people
Live longer with HIV by getting treatment early.
If you have HIV, early treatment can help you live a long, healthy life. Its important to get early treatment for HIV even if you dont feel sick. The sooner you get care for HIV, the better.
If you have HIV and you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, learn how to prevent passing HIV to your baby.
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Am I At Higher Risk If I Have Sex With A Member Of The Same Sex
HIV is transmitted sexually regardless of your sexual preference. Note however, that worldwide there is a higher prevalence of the virus in certain groups because of their sexual practices and therefore having unsafe sex with someone from one of these groups places you at a higher risk of contracting the virus. Men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers, and people who have a sexually transmitted infection are examples of such groups.
Why Does Having An Std Put Me More At Risk For Getting Hiv
If you get an STD, you are more likely to get HIV than someone who is STD-free. This is because the same behaviors and circumstances that may put you at risk for getting an STD also can put you at greater risk for getting HIV. In addition, having a sore or break in the skin from an STD may allow HIV to more easily enter your body. If you are sexually active, get tested for STDs and HIV regularly, even if you dont have symptoms.
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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.
Is Deep Kissing A Route Of Hiv Transmission
Deep or open-mouthed kissing is a very low risk activity in terms of HIV transmission. HIV is only present in saliva in very minute amounts, insufficient to cause infection with HIV. There has been only one documented case of someone becoming infected with HIV through kissing a result of exposure to infected blood during open-mouthed kissing. If you or your partner have blood in your mouth, you should avoid kissing until the bleeding stops.
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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.
Is There A Risk Of Hiv Transmission When Getting A Tattoo Or A Body Piercing Or While Visiting The Barber Or Hairdresser
Persons who carry out body-piercing and tattoos should follow procedures called “Universal Precautions“, which are designed to protect both workers and their customers from the transmission of blood borne infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B. The guidelines state that any instrument designed to penetrate the skin such as tattoo or acupuncture needles should be either used only once and discarded , or should be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized after each use.
When visiting the barber there is no risk of infection unless the skin is cut and if there is a transfer of infected blood. If the instruments are contaminated with infected blood and are not sterilized between clients there is a risk of HIV transmission.
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How Does Hiv Spread
HIV spreads when infected blood, semen or vaginal fluids enter the body. Because symptoms can be mild at first, people with HIV might not know they’re infected. They can spread HIV to others without knowing it.
HIV can spread:
- during sex
- through sharing needles for injecting drugs or tattooing
HIV also can pass from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
HIV does not spread through:
- pee, poop, spit, throw-up, or sweat
- coughing or sneezing
- sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses
If I Have Sex With A Commercial Sex Worker Will I Get Hiv
Unprotected sex places you at a high risk of contracting the virus whether it is with a commercial sex worker or anybody else. Statistics from the Caribbean and several other parts of the world have shown that there is a higher prevalence or occurrence of HIV in commercial sex workers . Therefore by having unprotected sex with a commercial sex worker the risk of contracting HIV is high.
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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.
Hiv Treatment Side Effects
Like all drugs, ART can cause side effects. These vary, depending on the person and type of treatment. Even people taking the same HIV drugs can have different side effects. The most common are:
A hypersensitivity reaction to an HIV drug called abacavir which consists of liver damage or severe skin rashes, can be life-threatening. Call your doctor or get emergency care right away if you think you have a severe reaction to this or any medication you take. Before you start any drug, make sure your doctor explains what side effects to watch out for.
Treatment as prevention: The best way to stay healthy and protect others is to start and stick with treatment. When your viral load is undetectable, you will keep yourself healthy, and thereâs no chance you can pass the virus to your sexual partner.
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Other Types Of Transmission
In the past, HIV was spread by transfusion with blood products, such as whole blood or the “factor” used by hemophiliacs. Many people acquired HIV this way. The blood supply is now much more strictly tested and controlled in most countries. The odds of acquiring HIV from receiving blood or blood factor in countries like the US, the UK, and Canada are extremely low. For example, statistics from the US show that a person is more likely to be killed by a lightning strike than they are to acquire HIV from a blood transfusion. However, not every country screens all blood donations for HIV.
It is also possible to get HIV from skin grafts or transplanted organs taken from people living with HIV. Again, the risk is considered very low, as these “bodily products” must be strictly tested in the same way as blood products. Semen donations collected by sperm banks for artificial insemination are also considered “bodily products” and rigorously tested in high-resource countries. Private semen samples that are not processed by sperm banks or similar organizations may not have been tested. It is important for anyone receiving a private donor’s sperm for artificial insemination to have the donor tested for HIV.
If you are getting breast milk from a milk bank, it is important to ask if the bank tests the milk for HIV. Also, if your baby is getting breast milk from a wet nurse, it is important to make sure that she tests negative for HIV before giving her milk to your baby.
Get Your Prescription Filled As Soon As Possible
You can download The Village Pharmacy app to make things easier. Send us your prescription via the app, or get in touch.
We always have PEP meds in stock and we will answer any questions you might have about taking PEP.
The Village Pharmacy is open Monday to Friday 9:30am to 7:30pm and Saturday 10am to 6pm.
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Will Treating Stds Prevent Me From Getting Hiv
No. Its not enough.
If you get treated for an STD, this will help to prevent its complications, and prevent spreading STDs to your sex partners. Treatment for an STD other than HIV does not prevent the spread of HIV.
If you are diagnosed with an STD, talk to your doctor about ways to protect yourself and your partner from getting reinfected with the same STD, or getting HIV.
How Is Hiv Treated
There is no vaccine or cure for HIV infection. However, there are effective treatments that can prevent the transmission of HIV and the progression to AIDS, and help ensure a near-normal life expectancy.
These treatments are known as antiretroviral therapy . They stop the virus from reproducing itself, which leads to a lower viral load. The treatment involves a combination of drugs used together.
HIV-positive people who take ART daily exactly as prescribed and achieve an undetectable viral load cant sexually transmit the virus to an HIV-negative partner.
Thanks to the improvements in treatment, HIV infection is now a manageable chronic disease for many people in countries like Australia.
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Initially Wondered How She Got Hiv But Then Felt The Question Could Not Be Usefully Answered
And I think oh my God. How can How did I get this thing? That’s what I said to myself. And then I said, ‘I’ll never know, really, wh- how I got it.’ Because I was once married. It could be that I had it even before the blood transfusion. It could be. It could be, it could be from my partner. Who knows? BecauseI don’t, I don’t know, really. But we just thought probably it’s the blood. Because that, that did seem the obvious thing. But I’ll never know really the where it really came from. And I said to myself, by the way, ‘Even if I know where it comes from, where how I got it, it’s useless.’ There’s no point now. It’s too late now. I’ve just to think and get on with my life.
Treatments That Help Reduce The Risk Of Hiv Transmission
If your partner is HIV positive, talk to your doctor about whether you should start taking a medication called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. These pills, which help prevent HIV from establishing itself in the body, can reduce a persons risk of permanent infection by up to 92 percent if taken consistently, according to the CDC.
If youre HIV negative and believe you might have been exposed to the virus, you can take an emergency medication called post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, which can lower your odds of being permanently infected with HIV. In order to work as effectively as possible, the medication has to be started within 72 hours of exposure and must be taken consistently once or twice a day for 28 days.
Finally, if your partner is HIV positive, he or she can drastically reduce the odds of passing along the virus by taking antiretroviral therapy, or ART. These medications can lower the amount of HIV that resides in the body to a level thats undetectable by modern testing. An international study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in July 2016 found that none of the more than 1,000 HIV-positive people whose levels were undetectable passed the virus to their HIV-negative partners during unprotected anal or vaginal sex during an average of two years.
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Why Do Some People With Hiv Infection Develop Aids
Over time, untreated HIV infection damages the immune system and makes it more difficult to fight infections and cancers.
Before there were effective treatments for HIV infection, all infected people went on to develop AIDS within about 10 years. Today, people with HIV who take effective treatment are unlikely to develop AIDS and will have a near-normal life expectancy. This is because these medicines keep the amount of virus in their blood under control and protect the immune system.
Who Should Get Tested For Hiv
Anyone who thinks they could have HIV should get tested.
Certain groups of people are at particularly high risk and are advised to have regular tests. For example:
- gay and bisexual men or men who have sex with men are advised to have an HIV test at least once a year, or every 3 months, if having sex without HIV PrEP or condoms with new or casual partners
- women and men from countries with high HIV prevalence, especially from sub Saharan Africa are advised to have an HIV test, if having sex without using HIV PrEP or condoms with new or casual partners
- people who inject drugs or who have sex without using HIV PrEP and condoms with people who inject drugs
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