How Can I Keep From Getting Hiv
The best way to protect yourself is to avoid activities that put you at risk. There’s no way to tell by looking at someone if he or she has HIV. Always protect yourself. Use latex condoms whenever you have any type of sex .
- Don’t use condoms made from animal products.
- Use water-based lubricants .
- Never share needles to take drugs.
- Avoid getting drunk or high. Intoxicated people might be less likely to protect themselves.
- Consider getting testedit is really important to be aware of your HIV status.
If you are a healthcare worker, you are at a slightly higher risk of getting HIV from a needle-stick injury, skin contact with contaminated fluid or from human bites. You should follow universal precautions:
- Always wear protective equipment when dealing with blood and body fluids.
- Follow careful hand-washing guidelines when dealing with such fluids.
- Follow safe handling guidelines for needles and sharp instruments.
- Be aware of post-exposure policies at your workplace.
If you are in a relationship with a partner who has HIV, or you are at high risk for any other reason, consider using pre-exposure prophylaxis, commonly called PrEP. This means taking one of two medicines every day, emtricitabine-tenofovir or emtricitabine-tenofovir alafen .
If you are a person with HIV who is in a relationship with a person who is HIV-negative, you should also be on a medication regimen.
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.
Does Disclosure Affect Sexual Relationships
The relationship between disclosure, sexual risk behaviors and potential transmission of HIV varies. Research findings have presented a mixed picture.;Some studies have found that increased disclosure is associated with reduced sexual risk behavior.;Other studies show that disclosure doesn’t always alter risk taking behaviors.;Even with disclosure, unsafe sex sometimes occurs. Some people engage in safer sex behaviors without any discussion of HIV status.
Disclosure can provide psychological benefits. In one study, HIV+ injection drug users who disclosed their status experienced increased intimacy with partners and reaffirmation of their sense of self.;Many HIV+ persons who disclose their status find that it reduces anxiety about transmission, so sex can be much more comfortable and relaxed.
A challenging issue for many people is the timing of disclosure. If it’s not done relatively early, it can become more difficult as time goes on, and can cause significant disruption to an ongoing relationship if the disclosed-to partner feels betrayed due to the lack of an earlier disclosure. HIV+ persons who have thought through a disclosure plan and have a consistent strategy for managing disclosure are less likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors than those who do not disclose or have inconsistent disclosure strategies.
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Can Hiv Be Prevented
To reduce the risk of getting HIV, people who are sexually active should:
- use a condom every time they have sex
- get tested for HIV and make sure all partners do too
- reduce their number of sexual partners
- get tested and treated for STDs ; having an STD increases the risk of HIV infection
- consider taking a medicine every day if they are at very high risk of getting infected
- Do not inject drugs or share any kind of needle.
- Do not share razors or other personal objects that may touch blood.
- Do not touch anyone else’s blood from a cut or sore.
Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration
- SAMHSA.gov/coronavirusThis site provides guidance and resources on the prevention and treatment of those with mental health and SUD as it relates to COVID-19.
- Tips for Survivors of a Pandemic Managing Stress.This sheet describes some of the common reactions to pandemics and other disasters and suggests ways to deal with them.
- Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19Updated monthly, this resource provides links to COVID-19-related trainings offered by SAMHSAs technology transfer centers.
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When Is Drug Therapy Necessary
The decision to start ARVs should always be made in consultation with a doctor. There are various guidelines worldwide as to when to start therapy. A consistent CD4+ count that is recorded at below 350, is considered low and should be monitored on a regular basis. At levels of 200250, an individual is at serious risk of opportunistic infections and a doctor may also recommend that antibiotics be taken to prevent PJP . Therapy should definitely be initiated at any CD4+ count below 350.
In South Africa, in accordance with best practice around HIV treatment, ARV treatment begins from the moment a person tests positive for HIV.
Once therapy is started, the CD4+ count may start to rise, which could reflect an improvement in immune function and the bodys ability to fight infections. Once the CD4+ count rises above 350 and is maintained above this level, your body is better equipped to fight infections.;
Regular monitoring of CD4+ count and a rise in viral load helps to determine whether ARV treatment is working. As long as the trend is upward or stable, then there is a positive indication of the effectiveness of the treatment. A consistent fall in CD4+ count may indicate that the treatment is becoming less effective. Importantly, any decision to change treatment should be taken in conjunction with a viral load test. Once therapy has started, it is normally recommended that CD4+ counts be done every 6 months .
Ways Hiv Cannot Be Spread
HIV is not spread by:
- Air or water
- Mosquitoes, ticks or other insects
- Saliva, tears, or sweat that is not mixed with the blood of a person with HIV
- Shaking hands; hugging; sharing toilets; sharing dishes, silverware, or drinking glasses; or engaging in closed-mouth or social kissing with a person with HIV
- Drinking fountains
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Lack Of Access To Hiv Services
Reluctance to acknowledge adolescents and young peoples exposure to sex can lead to age restricted laws that govern access to SRHR services including HIV testing and treatment. In 2016, at least 63% of the 108 countries where there was data required young people to have the consent of parents or legal guardians to access SRHR services. 8788 In 71% of the countries parental consent was needed for young people to take a HIV test.89
Many SRHR health services are also unappealing or unfriendly to adolescents and young people. Many young people report that healthcare workers have negative attitudes towards young people seeking SRHR services, particularly those having sex under the national age of consent, engaging in same-sex relationships or using drugs.90 This deters them from seeking contraception, STI check-ups and HIV testing.91
Some young people are also fearful of stigma from their partners, families and communities, making them unwilling to come forward for HIV testing.92 Other SRHR services deny access to people who are not married.93
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 ; open cuts or sores; or by direct injection.
People with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners.
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How Do People Get Hiv
HIV spreads when infected blood or body fluids enter the body. This can happen:
HIV also can pass from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
HIV is NOT spread through:
- pee, poop, spit, throw-up, or sweat
- coughing or sneezing
- sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses
Impact Of Hiv On Parenthood And Children
The development of HAARTs has had an impact on pregnancy planning among people living with HIV. In the pre-HAART era, HIV-positive women were faced with their HIV status and the expected bleak outcome of death. The number AIDS-related deaths, however, has drastically gone down in women living with AIDS due to HAART; they now live longer healthier lives. Among the women in the reproductive age who are living with HIV, the decision about pregnancy is becoming an important one; this due to reduction of the risk of vertical transmission of the virus to the newborn . Gains in prevention of mother to child transmission have led to emergence of new dimensions in the way communities view parenthood. Parenthood in HIV infected people is still eliciting many physical and social effects especially due to stigma and discrimination associated with the virus. Noroski outlines that concerns that might determine parenting decisions among people living with AIDS are the aspiration for parenthood, religious beliefs, children one had before, the position of spouse and health care providers, and apparent spouse capacity to parent successfully.
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Young People Who Are Part Of Key Populations
Young people may also belong to other key affected populations such as sex workers, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs or transgender people. Not only do young people from key populations face widespread discrimination, stigma and violence they also face specific vulnerabilities associated with youth, including power imbalances in relationships and, sometimes, the impact of alienation from family.35 Young people within key populations often have lower knowledge of HIV risks, or lower ability to mitigate those risks, compared with their older, more experienced counterparts.36
How Is Hiv Treated
Treatments for HIV typically involve antiretroviral therapy. This isnt a specific regimen, but instead a combination of three or four drugs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has currently approved nearly 50 different medications to treat HIV.
Antiretroviral therapy works to prevent the virus from copying itself. This maintains immunity levels while slowing the progression of HIV.
Before prescribing medication, a healthcare provider will take the following factors into consideration:
- a persons health history
- the levels of the virus in the blood
HIV doesnt cause a lot of outward or noticeable symptoms until the disease has progressed. For this reason, its important to understand how HIV is transmitted and the ways to prevent transmission.
HIV can be transmitted by:
- having sex, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex
- sharing needles, including tattoo needles, needles used for body piercing, and needles used for injecting drugs
- coming into contact with body fluids, such as semen, vaginal fluid, blood, and breast milk
HIV is not transmitted by:
- breathing the same air as a person living with HIV
- getting bitten by a mosquito or other biting insect
- hugging, holding hands with, kissing, or touching a person living with HIV
- touching a door handle or toilet seat thats been used by an HIV-positive person
Keeping this in mind, some of the ways a person can prevent HIV include:
Symptoms can take years to appear, which is why its so important to get tested regularly.
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How Does Acute Hiv Affect The Body
Once a person contracts HIV, the acute infection takes place immediately.
Symptoms of the acute infection may take place days to weeks after the virus has been contracted. During this time, the virus is multiplying rapidly in the body, unchecked.
This initial HIV stage can result in flu-like symptoms. Examples of these symptoms include:
- myalgias, or muscle pain
However, not all people with HIV experience initial flu-like symptoms.
The flu symptoms are due to the increase of copies of HIV and widespread infection in the body. During this time, the amount of CD4 cells starts to fall very quickly. The immune system then kicks in, causing CD4 levels to rise once again. However, the CD4 levels may not return to their pre-HIV height.
In addition to potentially causing symptoms, the acute stage is when people with HIV have the greatest chance of transmitting the virus to others. This is because HIV levels are very high at this time. The acute stage typically lasts between several weeks and months.
Does Disclosure Affect Social Relationships
Yes. Disclosure to significant others can help increase support for HIV+ persons. A study of Latino gay men found that disclosure was related to greater quality of social support, greater self-esteem, and lower levels of depression.;Disclosure also can lead to support that facilitates initiation of, and adherence to, HIV treatment and medications.
Disclosing HIV+ status can and sometimes does result in rejection, discrimination or violence. Disclosing to certain persons also can be more of a burden than a benefit. One study found that friends were disclosed to most often and perceived as more supportive than family members, and mothers and sisters were disclosed to more often than fathers and brothers and perceived as more supportive than other family members.
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Antiretroviral Treatment And The Hiv Lifecycle
Antiretroviral treatment for HIV combines several different types of drugs, each of which targets a different stage in the HIV lifecycle. This means that the replication of HIV is stopped on multiple fronts, making it very effective.
If taken correctly, it keeps the immune system healthy, prevents the symptoms and illnesses associated with AIDS from developing, and means that people can enjoy long and healthy lives.
If someone doesnt take their treatment correctly or consistently , the level of HIV in their blood may increase and the drugs may no longer work. This is known as developing drug resistance.
Hiv Denial And Unhealthy Coping
Many unhealthy coping strategies can tempt you after your initial diagnosis for example, using alcohol or illegal drugs, having unsafe sex, or not getting treatment.
It can be challenging to overcome denial about HIV. The problem is that people with this diagnosis are often afraid of losing friends and family because of the;stigma attached to HIV.
Its very easy to be in denial about something where theres a heavy stigma associated with it, says Johnson. Aside from the health consequences, theres the societal aspect that makes it that much easier to avoid talking about.
And while its fine to be selective about who knows your HIV status, Johnson says you have a moral obligation to let your sexual partners know if you have the virus. Your situation will determine how and when you do this, and post-HIV-test counseling can usually offer helpful guidelines.
Theres not a one-size-fits-all approach, Johnson notes. Imagine a situation where a woman tests HIV positive, and shes in what she thought was a monogamous relationship with the same man for 10 years. Then compare that to the situation of a woman who is a sex worker. If you have concerns about how to start an especially difficult conversation, talk with a friend or a therapist to get some help.
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Why Might People Infected With Hiv Have A Higher Risk Of Some Types Of Cancer
Infection with HIV weakens the immune system and reduces the body’s ability to fight viral infections that may lead to cancer . The viruses that are most likely to cause cancer in people with HIV are :
- Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus , also known as human herpesvirus 8 , which causes Kaposi sarcoma and some subtypes of lymphoma
more advanced at diagnosis, delays in cancer treatment, or poorer access to appropriate cancer treatment.
Adhering To Antiretroviral Treatment
Despite the availability of effective treatment, adolescent-specific services are rarely available and often healthcare providers have little experience of providing services for young people. They may not understand the needs of adolescents living with HIV and may have judgmental attitudes towards those who are sexually active.
A failure to follow good practice and provide age-appropriate care in this area has resulted in poor rates of retention among adolescents compared to other age groups. A systematic review found;that only 62% of 12 to 24year-olds achieved 95% or greater adherence in 2015.108
In 2014, treatment adherence was greatest in Africa and Asia , and lowest in North America . One reason for this difference is the variation in ages of maturation. It is generally thought that young people mature earlier in Africa and Asia, where they start working and have relationships at a younger age. Taking on these responsibilities may contribute to young people being more responsible for their own healthcare, and adhering to their treatment.109
Case study: USA review finds more to be improved with young adult HIV care cascade
In the United States of America , a review of published literature investigated reasons why 13-29 year olds;were much less likely start ART, be retained in care, and achieve viral suppression compared with adults.
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