How Do I Protect Myself From Hiv
There are a number of ways you can protect yourself from HIV, including:
- using a condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex
- in some countries PrEP is available. This is a course of HIV drugs which if taken consistently as advised by your healthcare professional prevents HIV infection through sex
- avoiding sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment
- taking HIV treatment if you are a new or expectant mother living with HIV, as this will dramatically reduce the risk of passing HIV to your baby during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding
- asking your healthcare professional if the blood product you are receiving has been tested for HIV
- taking precautions if you are a healthcare worker, such as wearing protection , washing hands after contact with blood and other bodily fluids, and safely disposing of sharp equipment
- if you think you have been exposed to HIV you may be able to access PEP, a 4-week course of ARV drugs taken after possible HIV exposure to prevent HIV infection. You must start PEP within 72 hours of possible exposure to be effective.
For more detailed information on how to prevent HIV infection visit the relevant page from the listed below:
How Does Hiv Turn Into Aids
HIV and AIDS are often used interchangeably. However, the two are very different. HIV is a virus. Without treatment, HIV can destroy the immune system and end with AIDS. AIDS is the last stage of the development of HIV. The three stages of HIV infection are acute HIV infection, clinical latency and AIDS. Though there is no cure for HIV, there are drugs available that can delay or even prevent the progression of HIV to AIDS.
I Am Hiv Positive How Can I Prevent Passing Hiv To Others
Take HIV medicines daily. Treatment with HIV medicines helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. ART can’t cure HIV, but it can reduce the amount of HIV in the body . One of the main goals of ART is to reduce a person’s viral load to an undetectable level. An undetectable viral load means that the level of HIV in the blood is too low to be detected by a viral load test. People with HIV who maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.
Here are some other steps you can take to prevent HIV transmission:
- Use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
- Talk to your partner about taking PrEP.
- If you inject drugs, don’t share your needles, syringes, or other drug equipment with your partner.
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How To Live Healthily With Hiv
Besides the answer to “how does HIV turn into AIDS?” here are also tips about how to live healthily with HIV.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is the key to boosting your immune system. You need to eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients. Some good options are whole grains, lean meat, fresh vegetables and fruits.
2. Avoid Wrong Types of Foods
Avoid foods which you are allergic to. In addition, you need to avoid raw sea food, half cooked meat, raw eggs and unpasteurized dairy products. They may cause foodborne illness and the level of severity of consequences is multiplied in HIV patients.
3. Get Vaccinations
Since you are more susceptible to common infections, you should get immunized against them. At the same time, you should avoid vaccines that are made using live viruses which can cause diseases since your immune system is already weakened.
4. Take Care with Pets and Other Animals
Pets and animals may carry parasites that will cause infections in people with HIV. For example, cats carry feces that can cause toxoplasmosis. Always wash your hands after handling animals.
5. Avoid Getting Stressed
If you feel stressed, increase your sleep time, and try stress relieving practices such as breathing exercises. This is because stress lowers the level of immunity in your body, and this can increase your chances of developing AIDS faster.
6. Dont Engage in Risky Sexual Behavior
7. Improve Your Lifestyle
Tips For Taking Your Medications
Besides knowing “how does HIV turn into AIDS?” You may want to know how to take the medications correctly. Medications for HIV need to be taken consistently. Otherwise, the virus can become resistant to the drugs and reproduce itself faster. Here are a few tips to help you take your medications in the right way and prevent an early onset of AIDS:
- Start taking your medication at the right time. When you start taking antiretroviral drugs, you will need to keep taking them for the entire life. So make sure you are ready to this serious commitment. Before starting taking ARVs, you can test yourself for consistency by taking a piece of candy at a specific time every day. Your performance with this will help you know whether you are ready to start taking the drugs.
- Have a reminder. You can choose to set an alarm or a reminder on your phone or simply check off a to-do list. This will help you always remember to take your drugs.
- Store the drugs correctly. Ideally, you should keep them at a spot where you can always see them, such as near to your bed. When travelling, you should have a container with the medications.
- Have sufficient amounts of the medications at all times. It is important to keep more than your need of the drugs at all times in case anything happens. Whenever you almost run short of the drugs, you need to visit the pharmacist to avoid a last minute rush.
Read Also: How Is Hiv And Aids Diagnosed
What You Need To Know About The Links Between Hiv And Stds
Many people think that STDs are a harmless “fact of life.” Since most STDs can be cured, people think, “Doctors give you medicine and that’s the end of it, right?” Well, not quite! Having an STD can increase your chances of getting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
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 .
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How Is Hiv Transmitted
The person-to-person spread of HIV is called HIV transmission. People can get or transmit HIV only through specific activities, such as through sex or injection drug use. HIV can be transmitted only in certain body fluids from a person who has HIV:
- Vaginal fluids
- Breast milk
HIV transmission is only possible if these fluids come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or are directly injected into the bloodstream . Mucous membranes are found inside the rectum, the vagina, the opening of the penis, and the mouth.
In the United States, HIV is spread mainly by:
- Having anal or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV
- Sharing injection drug equipment , such as needles, with someone who has HIV
HIV can also spread from a woman with HIV to her child during pregnancy, childbirth , or breastfeeding. This is called mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
You can’t get HIV from casual contact with a person who has HIV, such as a handshake, a hug, or a closed-mouth kiss. And you can’t get HIV from contact with objects such as toilet seats, doorknobs, or dishes used by a person who has HIV. Use the ClinicalInfo You Can Safely ShareWith Someone With HIV infographic to spread this message.
How Do You Catch Hiv
HIV is spread by sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal and sometimes even oral sex. Its most commonly caught by having sex without a condom.
It can also be spread by sharing needles, receiving surgical treatment in countries where sterilization standards are low, and sometimes a mother can pass the virus onto her baby during the birth process or by breast feeding.
HIV is found in the bodily fluids of an infected person, which includes semen, vaginal and anal fluids, blood, and breast milk. It is a fragile virus and does not survive outside the body for long.
HIV cannot be transmitted through saliva, sweat or urine.
The most common way of getting HIV in the UK is by anal or vaginal sex without a condom.
Not sure which service you need? Worried because youve had sex without a condom? Let us help you choose the right option.
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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
How Hard Is It To Contract Hiv Through Different Sexual Acts
Sexual intercourse without a condom is the most common way to contract HIV. You may have heard things about different risks for different sexual acts. Some acts do present a lower risk of infection, such as oral sex or using sex toys. For example, there is about a 1 in 5,000 chance of getting HIV if you have oral sex with someone who is positive. However, that doesnt mean that you shouldnt practice safe sex at all times. Although the risk of infection might sometimes be lower, it is still present. Its important to remember that some acts are riskier than others too. Statistically, anal sex has the highest risk of infection between 0.11% and 1.43%.
Although the numbers might be lower than you thought, they shouldnt be used as a way to negate safe sex. The safest thing to do is always to use protection and be as safe as possible. The risk might be low, but its even lower if you use a condom and other barriers, such as latex gloves or dental dams.
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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 body’s immune system. HIV preferentially infects defensive white blood cells, so when there are more of them around, it’s easier to contract HIV.
Having an STD like gonorrhea or syphilis means that you’ve 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.
Hospital Policies That Protect You From Hiv And Other Infectious Diseases
To prevent the spread of HIV, hospitals follow strict infection prevention and control guidelines. All blood and body fluids from patients are treated as potentially infectious:
- Syringes and needles are single use and disposed of in approved sharps containers.
- Reusable medical devices are decontaminated and sterilised after each patient use.
- Many medical devices are disposed of after single use.
- Healthcare workers wear protective equipment including gowns, gloves and eyewear when carrying out any procedures involving a patients blood or body fluids.
- All spilt blood and body fluids are cleaned up according to strict cleaning guidelines.
- Laundry is cleaned according to strict Australian Standards .
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Does Hiv Affect Women
Yes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , in 2018, 19% of the new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas were among women. In addition, 57% of women with HIV were Black/African American.
The most common way that women get HIV is through sex with a male partner who has HIV without using a condom. Most women who have HIV know that they are HIV positive, but some women are not getting the HIV care and treatment they need.
What Puts You At Risk For Stds And Hiv
You’re at risk if you:
- Have sex without using a condom, with someone who is infected.
- Have had an STD.
- Have more than one sex partner.
- Are under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
- Many women have STDs without having symptoms. This means that unless she gets tested, she may have an STD and not know it.
- Young women are getting HIV or an STD because the tissue lining the vagina is more fragile.
If you are a woman, take charge of your sexual health. Be sure to schedule pelvic exams and pap smears every year. Get tested and learn how to protect yourself from STDs and HIV.
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Hiv And Stds Are Spread In The Same Ways
You can get HIV or an STD by having sex without a condom with a person who is already infected. HIV and some STDs can be passed from a mother to her baby while she is pregnant, during birth or through breast feeding. HIV and some STDs can also be spread by sharing drug “works” with someone who has HIV or an STD.
Cocaine Research Reportwhy Are Cocaine Users At Risk For Contracting Hiv/aids And Hepatitis
Drug intoxication and addiction can compromise judgment and decision-making and potentially lead to risky sexual behavior, including trading sex for drugs, and needle sharing. This increases a cocaine users risk for contracting infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C .22 There are no vaccines to prevent HIV or HCV infections.
Studies that examine patterns of HIV infection and progression have demonstrated that cocaine use accelerates HIV infection.23 Research indicates that cocaine impairs immune cell function,24 promotes replication of the HIV virus, and potentiates the damaging effects of HIV on different types of cells in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in further damage.23 Studies also suggest that cocaine use accelerates the development of NeuroAIDS, neurological conditions associated with HIV infection. Symptoms of NeuroAIDS include memory loss, movement problems, and vision impairment.23
The interaction of substance use, HIV, and hepatitis may accelerate disease progression. For example, HIV speeds the course of HCV infection by accelerating the progression of hepatitis-associated liver disease.24 Research has linked HIV/HCV co-infection with increased mortality when compared to either infection alone.24 Substance use and co-infection likely negatively influence HIV disease progression and the ability of the body to marshal an immune response.24
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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.
Ways Through Which You Get Infected With Aids And Hiv
You can easily catch Aids and HIV through blood transfusion from a person who is already infected. On the other hand, you can still get the viruses through blood and blood contact from a person who is already infected. As such, it is important to ensure that the blood has completely been examined to you before it can be transfused to you.
This is one of the most known ways of catching Aids and HIV and most people are used to using shared needles to do so many things. For instance, those people who do drugs tend to share needles not knowing that they stand a high chance of catching Aids and HIV. Additionally, when you visit most hospitals, they tend to share needles that are used for medication and this in turn can infect another person with the viruses. It is therefore important o ensure that a new needle is used when administering medication or drug use to avoid transmission from being caused to the negative person.
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