Criticism Of Criminal Statutes
Research has been done on the effects of the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure. It has been demonstrated that these types of laws increase HIV stigma and negatively affect public health. HIV non-disclosure laws and criminalization of HIV transmission may make people less likely to access HIV testing and less likely to disclosure their status or discuss sexual health with a healthcare provider. Although women only make up 10% of Canadian non-disclosure prosecutions, there is an overrepresentation of prosecuted sex workers, Indigenous women, and abuse survivors. There is also a higher proportion of women and indigenous people involved in cases based on low levels of blameworthiness .
South Africa’s openly HIV-positive Supreme Court Justice Edwin Cameron argued against criminalisation at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City.
Interpreting The Numberswhat Additional Information Needs To Be Provided
Some clients may see these numbers and think their risk of HIV transmission is low. Therefore, caution is needed when interpreting them. If these numbers are provided to clients, they should be accompanied by information that helps shed light on why the risk may be higher than it seems.
Transmission can occur after one exposure.
It is important to emphasize that a person could become infected from having unprotected sex once or a person could have unprotected sex many times and not become infected, regardless of how low or high the risk per exposure is.
A risk of 1% would mean that an average of one infection would occur if 100 HIV-negative people were exposed to HIV through a certain type of sex. It does not mean that a person needs to be exposed 100 times for HIV infection to occur.
These are estimates of average risk in the absence of biological factors that increase risk.
The numbers in the table above are rough estimates. They are averages and do not represent the risk from all exposures to HIV through a certain type of sex.
The risk of HIV transmission may be much higher than these averages if biological risk factors are present. For example, research shows that STIs and some vaginal conditions, such as bacterial vaginosis, can increase the risk of HIV transmission by up to 8 times.6,7,8 As a result, the risk of an HIV-negative woman becoming infected through unprotected receptive vaginal sex could be closer to 1% if she has a vaginal STI.
Ways Hiv Can Be Transmitted
How is HIV passed from one person to another?
Most people get HIV through anal or vaginal sex, or sharing needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment . But there are powerful tools to help prevent HIV transmission.
Can I get HIV from anal sex?
You can get HIV if you have anal sex with someone who has HIV without using protection .
- Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV.
- Being the receptive partner is riskier than being the insertive partner .
- The bottoms risk is higher because the rectums lining is thin and may allow HIV to enter the body during anal sex.
- The top is also at risk. HIV can enter the body through the opening at the tip of the penis the foreskin if the penis isnt circumcised or small cuts, scratches, or open sores anywhere on the penis.
Can I get HIV from vaginal sex?
You can get HIV if you have vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using protection .
- Vaginal sex is less risky for getting HIV than receptive anal sex.
- Either partner can get HIV during vaginal sex.
- HIV can enter a persons body during vaginal sex through the delicate tissue that lines the vagina and cervix.
- Vaginal fluid and blood can carry HIV, which can pass through the opening at the tip of the penis the foreskin if the penis isnt circumcised or small cuts, scratches, or open sores anywhere on the penis.
Can HIV be transmitted from a mother to her baby?Can I get HIV from sharing needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment?
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Hiv And Men Who Have Sex With Men
Since reports of the human immunodeficiency virus began to emerge in the United States in the 1980s, the HIV epidemic has frequently been linked to gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men by epidemiologists and medical professionals. The first official report on the virus was published by the Center for Disease Control on June 5, 1981 and detailed the cases of five young gay men who were hospitalized with serious infections. A month later, The New York Times reported that 41 homosexuals had been diagnosed with Kaposis Sarcoma, and eight had died less than 24 months after the diagnosis was made. By 1982, the condition was referred to in the medical community as Gay-related immune deficiency , “gay cancer,” and “gay compromise syndrome.” It was not until July 1982 that the term Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome was suggested to replace GRID, and even then it was not until September that the CDC first used the AIDS acronym in an official report.
For Latex Male Condoms:
- Put on the condom after the penis is hard. If the penis is not circumcised, pull back the foreskin before putting on the condom.
- Pinch the tip of the condom to leave a little space at the top to catch semen. Unroll the condom all the way down the penis. Add a little bit of water-based lubricant to the outside of the condom.
- After ejaculation, hold the rim of the condom and pull out the penis while it is still hard, so that no semen spills out.
- Use a new condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex.
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Giving And Receiving Oral Sex
Semen and pre-cum can transmit HIV. While avoiding ejaculating into the mouth may help reduce the risk, theres still a chance that pre-ejaculatory fluid may enter the mouth. Therefore, using a barrier method is a more reliable way to prevent transmission.
Condoms and dental dams can be used during every oral sex act. Change to a new one if you move from the vagina or penis to the anus, or vice versa. You can also use lubricants to prevent friction or tearing and further reduce exposure risk.
Abstain from oral sex if you have any cuts, abrasions, or sores in your mouth. Any opening in the skin is an avenue for possible viral exposure.
Finally, be careful not to cut or tear your partners skin with your teeth during oral sex.
How Is Hiv Virus Transmitted During Sexual Intercourse
The issue of HIV virus infection is always a hard one in one way or the other. Some say it takes friction during intercourse and that sexual organs must have had bruises for body fluids to exchange and cause a transmission. Others say it is just the sexual fluids in contact that causes it. Which is which? How is HIV really transmitted?
It is a fact that HIV gets easy access inside body through abrasions in the protective lining of the body organs. Sexual intercourse does cause some bruises and abrasions over the genital parts because the protective covering of these parts is very delicate. As such, the virus is present in maximum concentration in the blood and transfusion with infected blood remains a sure way of transmitting infection. But since one does sexual activity more frequently, there is greater chances of acquiring and transmitting the virus. All other body fluids can also transmit the virus from an infected person. These include semen pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids and breast milk. Apart from the fluids, the virus can also spread through contaminated tools such as infected syringe, needles, shaving razors, among others. Therefore, it is important to maintain good hygiene of tools used, use disposable tools wherever possible. Use of a condom prevents acquiring and transmitting HIV infection. But condom needs to be of a good quality and should not break during sexual intercourse.
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Ways The Virus Can Spread And Ways It Cannot
HIV is a virus that can be transmitted from someone with HIV to someone without through body fluids like semen, blood, vaginal secretions, and breast milk. HIV is most commonly passed during unprotected sex, primarily anal and vaginal sex, but is also effectively transmitted through . HIV can also be passed from mother to child via the placenta during pregnancy or during childbirth, due to exposure to blood or vaginal fluid, or while breastfeeding.
Theresa Chiechi / Verywell
Some modes of transmission are more efficient than others. In order for HIV to be transmitted, the virus needs to come into contact with porous mucous membranes , pass through breaks and tears in tissues , or enter the bloodstream directly .
Moreover, there is needs to be ample quantities of the virus to breach the bodys frontline immune defenses. This is why HIV cannot be passed through saliva, the environment of which is hostile to the virus, or when the virus is fully suppressed in an HIV-positive person on antiretroviral therapy.
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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How To Have Safer Sex With Your Hiv
In recent years, several advances have made intimacy between a couple with one HIV-positive partner somewhat safer. People who are aggressively managing their HIV with medications called antiretroviral therapy, or ART, usually have lower levels of HIV in their blood and bodily fluids. This, Henderson explains, also decreases the chances that theyll transmit the virus to someone else. According to the CDC, people who maintain undetectable viral loads that is, the level of HIV in the blood is lower than can be detected with current technology have virtually no chance of infecting a sexual partner.
Individuals at high risk for contracting HIV can also take a combination of medicines called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, which works to prevent the virus from establishing a permanent infection in the body, Henderson explains. PrEP involves taking an antiretroviral pill every day and seeing a healthcare provider every three months to take an HIV test and get a prescription refill.
Though its often given in an emergency room in urgent situations, post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, offers an option for people who have just participated in high-risk sex, such as having had anal intercourse with a man who is HIV positive. Henderson notes that PEP has to be taken within 72 hours of possible exposure to the virus.
Is There An Hiv Vaccine
Historically, the greatest successes in preventing viral illnesses have been the result of the development of preventative vaccines. Unfortunately, decades of research to develop an HIV vaccine has led to little hope for success. In 2007, a major setback in this area occurred when the STEP study investigating a promising vaccine candidate was prematurely stopped due to the lack of evidence that it produced any protection from HIV infection.
In contrast, a glimmer of hope did emerge with the report in 2009 of the results of the RV 144 Thai HIV vaccine trial, which demonstrated borderline effectiveness in the more than 16,000 recipients. While this vaccine demonstrated only limited evidence of protection, research is under way to further explore what can be learned for future vaccine development from this modest success.
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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 is having oral sex and has bleeding gums, a cut, or an ulcer inside their mouth, HIV could enter their bloodstream through infected fluid. In the same way, a person with HIV could give HIV to their partner during oral sex, through that person’s vagina, rectum or urethra.
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.
Challenges In Calculating A Number
It isn’t easy for researchers to calculate the risk of transmission from an exposure to HIV through sex. To do this effectively, a group of HIV-negative individuals need to be followed over time and their exposures to HIVboth the number of times they are exposed and the types of exposureneed to be tracked.
As you can imagine, accurately tracking the number of times a person is exposed to HIV is very difficult. Researchers ask HIV-negative individuals enrolled in these studies to report how many times they have had sex in a given period of time, what type of sex they had, how often they used condoms and the HIV status of their partner. Because a person may have trouble remembering their sexual behaviour or may not want to tell the whole truth, this reporting is often inaccurate.
Furthermore, a person does not always know the HIV status of their partner. For this reason, researchers usually enroll HIV-negative individuals who are in stable relationships with an HIV-positive partner . Researchers can then conclude that any unprotected sex reported by a study participant counts as an exposure to HIV.
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Can You Get Hiv From Having Sex With Someone Who Has Aids
If you have sex with someone who has AIDS, not HIV, can you still get HIV? Sarah*
Yes. People who have AIDS are infected with the HIV virus. This means they can pass HIV on to others.
AIDS happens after someone has had HIV for many years. In AIDS, the immune system is severely weakened. When someone gets HIV, that person can spread the infection to other people immediately. And if HIV develops into AIDS, the virus can spread to others.
HIV/AIDS spreads when infected blood or body fluids enter the body. This can happen:
- during sex
- through sharing needles for injecting drugs or tattooing
HIV/AIDS also can pass from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
To reduce your risk of getting HIV/AIDS if you are sexually active:
- Use a condom every time you have sex .
- Get tested for HIV and make sure all partners do too.
- Have fewer sexual partners.
- Get tested and treated for STDs having an STD increases the risk of HIV infection.
- Consider taking a medicine every day if you are at very high risk of getting infected .
It’s also important to:
- not inject drugs or share any kind of needle
- not share razors or other personal objects that may touch blood
- not touch anyone else’s blood from a cut or sore
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
Getting Pregnant And Having Children With An Hiv
According to the British government organization AIDSMap, HIV-positive women can have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies, without passing HIV to their child. But this takes careful planning, and extra steps are necessary to reduce the risk. Talk to your doctor if youre planning to become pregnant, since your best options may be affected by whether youre on ART, whether your health is generally good, and which person in the relationship has HIV.
Other options for couples affected by HIV include:
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How Is Hiv Not Spread
HIV is not spread by:
- Air or water
- Mosquitoes, ticks, or other insects
- Saliva, tears, sweat, feces, or urine 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
- Other sexual activities that dont involve the exchange of body fluids .
- Donating blood
Hiv Treatment As Prevention
People with HIV can take ART to lower their chance of transmitting HIV to others.
ART reduces the quantity of HIV in the body, or viral load, and keeps it at a low level.
The term viral load refers to the number of HIV copies per milliliter of blood.
Healthcare professionals define successful viral suppression as having a viral load of less than of HIV per milliliter of blood. Achieving and maintaining viral suppression significantly reduces the risk of HIV transmission.
Other ways to prevent HIV transmission include:
- using a condom or other barrier method during sex
- reducing the number of sexual partners
- getting vaccinated against other STIs, such as HPV and hepatitis B
- avoiding using injectable drugs, if possible
- if using injectable drugs, avoiding sharing needles and syringes
- following all workplace safety protocols
People can speak with a doctor to learn more about their individual risk of contracting HIV.
Anyone concerned about HIV exposure should contact a healthcare professional or a local emergency room to get testedand receive PEP.
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