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 tested for several types of bloodborne pathogens, including HIV.
Blood donations that test positive for HIV are safely discarded and dont enter the blood supply. The risk of HIV transmission during a blood transfusion is conservatively estimated to be
, there are no known instances of HIV being transmitted by receiving a tattoo or piercing. However, its technically possible for transmission to occur if equipment or ink is reused or shared.
How Does The Female Genital Tract Defend Itself From Hiv
The female genital tract has several biological defences that naturally help to protect against HIV infection: mucous membranes, layers of epithelial cells, immune cells, and bacteria. While all of these biological defences can help protect the body against a permanent HIV infection, they are not always successful.
The mucous membranes that line the female genital tract act as an important line of natural defence against HIV and other germs.2,4 The layer of mucous produced by the vagina and cervix provides a natural physical barrier that can trap HIV and prevent it from crossing the epithelial cell layer and reaching the cells underneath.4,5 This mucous also lubricates the cell lining to protect against damage to the epithelial cell layer that can be caused by friction during sex. This is important because small tears or other damage can be used by HIV to cross the cell layer more easily.6
Underneath the mucous, the epithelial cells of the vagina and ectocervix, which make up most of the surface area of the female genital tract, are many layers thick. This provides a thicker barrier that offers greater protection against HIV, compared to the lining of the rectum, for example, which is only lined by a single layer of cells.
The female genital tract has a complex local immune system that can help fight and clear HIV from the body. This includes both antibodies and immune cells in the vaginal mucous and epithelial lining that can help to attack and inactivate HIV. ;
Are There Any Issues That Affect Hiv Treatment In Women
Treatment with HIV medicines is recommended for everyone with HIV. Treatment with HIV medicines helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. ART also reduces the risk of HIV transmission.
People should start taking HIV medicines as soon as possible after HIV is diagnosed. However, birth control and pregnancy are two issues that can affect HIV treatment in women.
Some HIV medicines may reduce the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills, patches, rings, or implants. Women taking certain HIV medicines may have to use an additional or different form of birth control. For more information, view the HIV and Birth Control infographic from HIVinfo.
Women with HIV take HIV medicines during pregnancy and childbirth to reduce the risk of perinatal transmission of HIV and to protect their own health.
The choice of an HIV treatment regimen to use during pregnancy depends on several factors, including a womans current or past use of HIV medicines, other medical conditions she may have, and the results of drug-resistance testing. In general, pregnant women with HIV can use the same HIV treatment regimens recommended for non-pregnant adultsunless the risk of any known side effects to a pregnant woman or her baby outweighs the benefits of a regimen.
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How Do You Get Hiv From Semen Or Vaginal Fluid
Body fluids including semen and vaginal secretions can contain HIV. If a person has HIV and a detectable viral load, HIV can passed on to someone if their semen or vaginal secretions get into the body of a sexual partner during vaginal or anal sex.
If a man has HIV and a detectable viral load, one of his body fluids where the virus is found is his semen.
If he has a detectable viral load and his semen gets into the body of his sexual partner during sex, then HIV can get into the other persons bloodstream.
Pre-cum also contains HIV ;this is why there is a risk of infection even if a man pulls out of his partner before he ejaculates.
If a woman has HIV and she has a detectable viral load, one of her body fluids where the virus is found is in her vaginal secretions.
If these come into contact with a penis during sex, then HIV could be transmitted. The virus in her secretions can enter through the delicate skin of the penis or foreskin.
How Is Hiv Spread From Person To Person
HIV can only be spread through specific activities. In the United States, the most common ways are:
- Having vaginal or anal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV. Anal sex is riskier than vaginal sex.
- Sharing injection drug equipment , such as needles, with someone who has HIV.
Less common ways are:
- From mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. However, the use of HIV medicines and other strategies have helped lower the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to 1% or less in the United States.
- Getting stuck with an HIV-contaminated needle or other sharp object. This is a risk mainly for health care workers. The risk is very low.
HIV is spread only in extremely rare cases by:
- Having oral sex. But in general, the chance that an HIV-negative person will get HIV from oral sex with an HIV-positive partner is extremely low.
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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.;
Hepatitis C can survive in dried blood at room temperature for several weeks, and hepatitis B can survive in dried blood for around a week outside the body.
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.
What Is The Difference Between Hiv And Aids
The term AIDS refers to the most advanced stages of HIV infection. Most of the conditions affecting people with AIDS are opportunistic infections that generally do not affect healthy people. In people with AIDS, these infections are often severe and sometimes fatal because the immune system is so ravaged by HIV that the body cannot fight off the infection. Symptoms of opportunistic infections common in people with AIDS include:
- coughing and shortness of breath
- seizures and lack of coordination
- difficult or painful swallowing
- severe headaches
People with AIDS also are particularly prone to developing various cancers. These cancers are usually more aggressive and difficult to treat in people with AIDS.
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How Is Hiv Spread Through Sex
You can get infected from sexual contact with someone who has HIV. Sexual contact that can transmit HIV includes:
- vaginal sex
- anal sex
- oral sex
If you have sex, the best thing you can do to prevent HIV infection is practice “safer sex” with any partner who is not proven to be HIV negative . To do so, always use protection–this could include using a condom, dental dam, or other latex barrier, and/or PrEP . It is also important to avoid “rough sex” or other activities that might cause bleeding. If you use lube with a condom, make sure it is water-based, not oil-based. Oil-based lube causes latex condoms to break. See more tips for using condoms; note that, if used correctly and consistently, condoms also protect against other sexually transmitted infections and against pregnancy.
If you have unprotected sex with someone who is infected, it doesn’t mean that you will be infected, too. But there is always a chance, especially if your partner is not on effective HIV medicines. Using condoms and PrEP reduces your risk.
HIV is NOT spread by:
- hugging or massage
- sex toys you don’t share
- daily living with someone who has HIV
For more information, see Sex and Sexuality in the Daily Living section.
How Can A Woman Reduce Her Chances Of Contracting Hiv
HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids like blood and semen. Using injection drugs, having unprotected sex and having multiple sex partners increases the chances of acquiring HIV. The only way to be absolutely certain you do not become infected with HIV is to not have sex and not use injection drugs. You also can avoid infection by only having one sex partner as long as your partner does not have HIV and has sex only with you. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention , using a male or female condom every time you have vaginal or anal sex can greatly lower your risk of infection. Using condoms for oral sex will reduce your risk for other STDs as well. It also is important not to douche, since douching removes some of the normal vaginal bacteria that can protect you from infection.
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Confused About Hiv Transmission Statistics
I have searched through your extensive HIV database , but I still have some questions.
1. In one of the answers, you say: “A study published in 1994 in The New England Journal of Medicine looked at 256 heterosexual mixed status couples. Of the 124 couples that consistently used condoms, none of the HIV-negative partners were infected. Among the 121 couples that did not consistently use condoms, 12 of the HIV-negative partners became infected. Additional studies found similar results.” How is it possible that only 10 percent of the unprotected sexual activity between + and – people resulted in transmission?
2. Similarly in Sex with prostitute â HIV?, you say: “With HIV, a single act of unprotected vaginal or rectal intercourse MAY be sufficient for transmission. But, it is believed that in the vast majority of cases, repeated exposure to the virus through multiple acts of intercourse is necessary for transmission to take place.” How does the “repetition” affect the likelihood? I mean, doesn’t the virus kind of “jump” to the other side whenever it has a chance?
And my third question is: does pre-cum have significant concentrations of HIV?
Thanks for your help,Concerned
For more information about HIV/AIDS, visit the STI’s section in the Go Ask Alice!Sexual & Reproductive Health archive or check out the related questions.
To Prevent Hiv Infection Couples Try Testing Together
In other words, particular versions of the virus, with particular DNA sequences, are most likely to pass from a woman to a man. This reduces the chance an infection occurs during sex.
The restriction is less when women have sex with an HIV-positive man. And, most likely, reduced even further when men have sex with men. So the chance of an infection increases in both situations.
As HIV replicates inside a person, mutations are introduced into its DNA. This results in a large number of different HIV versions swarming about the body each with its own genetic code.
But when HIV is transmitted through sex, usually only a single version of the virus establishes a long-term infection. So the process is almost like a filter, letting only certain viruses through.
This made scientists wonder: Is there something special about the HIV versions making it through the filter?
To figure this out, a team at Microsoft Research and Emory University analyzed data from a decades-long study on HIV transmission between “discordant” heterosexual couples in Zambia. These are couples in which one person is HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative.
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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
Risk By Sexual Activity
When discussing HIV risk, people often try to ascertain which “type” of sex is riskier;;vaginal, anal, or oral. From a purely statistical standpoint, anal sex is considered the highest risk activity with an almost 18-fold greater risk of infection compared to vaginal sex.
But this assessment is somewhat misleading, at least from an individual perspective. While vaginal sex may pose a lower risk comparatively, the figures neither take into account the way in which the disease is distributed between men and women nor the vulnerabilities which place some individuals at extremely high risk of infection.
Women are three to four times more likely to get HIV from men than the other way around. A young woman is more likely to get HIV from her first sexual encounter than her male partner.
There are some men who are far more likely to get HIV than others. Studies have shown, for example, that uncircumcised men are;more than twice as likely to get HIV after vaginal sex than circumcised men.
Vulnerabilities vary by individual, so assessing the real risk of vaginal sex requires a better understanding of the factors that place some women and men at greater risk than others.
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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.
Multiple Vulnerabilities Increase Risk In Men And Women
Vaginal sex is one of the primary ways a person can become infected with HIV. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, it accounts for about 6,300 new infections among women each year in the U.S. and about 2,800 new infections among heterosexual men.
Globally, the figures are even more dismaying. While the sexual transmission of HIV in the U.S. is highest among gay and bisexual men , heterosexuals are by far the group most affected worldwide.
This is especially true in Africa where most new infections are among heterosexuals. In these populations, vaginal sex is the predominant route of infection.
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If I Am Pregnant And Have Hiv Will My Baby Also Have Hiv
Most women with HIV can protect their baby from becoming infected during pregnancy. Proper pre-natal treatment can reduce the risk that an HIV-positive mother will pass the virus to her child to less than 1 percent. The only way these special treatments can be provided is if the health care professionals know the mother is living with HIV. Treatment is most effective when started early in pregnancy. HIV-positive moms should not breastfeed their babies because HIV is sometimes passed this way.
Implications For Hiv Prevention In Women
It is important for service providers who work with women to understand the biology of HIV transmission in females so that they can communicate this information to women while providing appropriate prevention counselling.;
There are several key messages that can be given to female clients about the risk of HIV transmission through vaginal sex:
- A healthy female genital tract has protective defences that can fight HIV infection; however, it also has biological vulnerabilities that contribute to a greater risk of HIV infection compared to men.
- Inflammation in the female genital tract is associated with an increased risk of HIV infection. Inflammation can be caused by STIs, vaginal conditions, friction during sex, and cleansing practices , among other things.
- STIs and other vaginal conditions may increase risk, even if they are not symptomatic. Women should be tested for STIs regularly and treated if necessary.
- Women with diverse needs and preferences have prevention options available to them for reducing their risk of getting HIV, including methods they can initiate themselves and those that require greater partner involvement.
- Women in a serodiscordant relationship who want to conceive have several options for preventing HIV transmission within the relationship, and should seek expert medical advice to review these options.
When counselling women about their risk for HIV transmission through vaginal sex and their prevention options:
Revised June 2018
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How Is Hiv Transmitted
HIV is transmitted between humans through the exchange of certain types of bodily fluids. Bodily fluids that can transmit HIV include blood, semen, breast milk, and vaginal fluids .
Not all body fluids can transmit HIV. The following cannot transmit HIV:
- Exchanging saliva, like through closed-mouth kissing or sharing drinks/utensils
- Coming in contact with an HIV positive personâs tears, sneezes, or sweat
- Ordinary physical contact, such as hugging, hand shaking, or touching shared objects like cutlery, cups, or toilet seats .
- Air or water
- Pets and insects cannot carry the virus and infect you, because transmission of HIV is only between humans .
While care needs to be taken in some situationsâlike when having sex or when open injuries are presentâthis certainly does not mean that it is unsafe to be around people with HIV. Think of how you interact with the vast majority of peopleâbodily fluids are not exchanged. Harboring discriminatory thoughts only perpetuates a fearful stigma against someone with HIV, which only hurts the person who has it.
HIV is often transmitted through sexual activity and drug use in adults in the United States . Maternal transmissionâfrom mother to childâis how the infection is spread to infants .