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
Ways That Hiv Is Not Transmitted
HIV is not transmitted by day-to-day activities or by contact with objects, food or clothes.
The following list includes just a few examples of questions we get from people worried about catching HIV.
Most of these questions come from a combination of fear and ignorance. They come from a lack of confidence in understanding HIV transmission.
You can NOT catch HIV from:
- Eating any food, cooked or uncooked, with blood on it.
- From a sterile needle at a clinic or other health centre.
- From a human bite.
- From an insect bite including a mosquito bite.
- From an animal.
- From living in the same house as someone who is HIV positive.
- From a sewing needle if you stab your finger.
- From blood on a bus seat that went through your underwear.
- Cleaning nail clippers.
- Using a knife/fork/spoon/cup/plate that an HIV positive person may have used.
- Getting sexual fluid on skin.
- Getting sexual fluid on a cut that has already healed over. A cut has to be open to be a risk of HIV.
The above are all real examples sent as questions to i-Base. They show that ignorance about HIV is still common.
Ways Hiv Is Not Spread
Get the true facts about HIV transmission.
The human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, has existed in the United States since at least the 1970s, but myths and misconceptions about how it’s transmitted still persist.
Most people know that the virus is commonly spread through sexual contact and intravenous drug use. But what other behaviors are and are not risk factors?
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Aids From Dried Blood
Surveillance Case Definition For Hiv
In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a Revised Surveillance Case Definition for HIV Infection that added specific criteria for defining a case of HIV-2, which was not part of the 2008 case definition. To classify an adult as having HIV-2, one or more of the following laboratory criteria are necessary:
- FDA-approved HIV-1/HIV-2 type-differentiating antibody test result positive for HIV-2 and negative for HIV-1
- Positive HIV-2 Western blot result and negative or indeterminate HIV-1 Western blot result
- Positive qualitative HIV-2 nucleic acid test
- Detectable quantitative HIV-2 NAT
- Laboratory results interpreted as consistent with HIV-2 infection by a laboratory expert experienced in differentiating HIV-2 from HIV-1 if laboratory evidence for HIV-2 is ambiguous
In addition, the 2014 Revised Surveillance Case Definition for HIV Infection classifies an individual as having dual infection if both an HIV-1 NAT and an HIV-2 NAT are positive.
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.
Also Check: How Long Until Hiv Turns Into Aids
Recommended Antiretroviral Regimens For Treatment Of Hiv
Based on experience with the treatment of HIV-1, a three-drug antiretroviral regimen should be used to treat HIV-2 in order to maintain viral suppression and to avoid development of resistance from suboptimal therapy. Since resistance testing is not commercially available for HIV-2, baseline resistance testing is not an option to guide initial therapy. Transmitted HIV-2 drug resistance has been reported, but to date, appears to be rare.
- Recommendation: The Adult and Adolescent ARV Guidelines recommend treating persons with HIV-2 using two NRTIs in combination with an INSTI . The alternative regimen is two NRTIs plus a boosted protease inhibitor active against HIV-2. The NNRTIs should not be used to treat HIV-2.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type : Implications For Blood Donors
Since the first descriptions of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in 1981 and the subsequent discovery of the retrovirus human immunodeficiencyvirus in 1983-84, both patients and the public have become very muchaware of the potential for acquiring this disease through blood transfusion ortherapy with blood-derived products. Yet, beginning with the introduction of aserologic blood screening test for HIV in 1985, the risk ofHIV-1 transmission through blood has been almost entirely eliminated. However,shortly after serologic screening of the general blood donor population forHIV-1 was initiated, a second retrovirus with the potential for causing AIDS,called HIV type 2 or HIV-2, was discovered . In this article, we willdiscuss the methods currently used nationwide and here at M. D. Anderson CancerCenter for screening donated blood for HIV-2 infection, as well as recentstudies of HIV-2 prevalence in the blood donor populations of the United Statesand M. D. Anderson.
EpidemiologyWhereas HIV-1 has spread worldwide, with over 13 millioncases of infection estimated , the prevalence of HIV-2 is geographicallymore restricted. HIV-2 is most prevalent in West Africa, Angola, andMozambique but HIV-2 infections and associated AIDS cases have also beenreported in Europe, particularly in Portugal, France, and Germany SouthAmerica North America and India .
|No. of samples|
Read Also: How Long Does It Take For Hiv To Become Aids
Viral Load And Transmission
Many different factors account for a successful transmission of HIV by sexual route. One of the most critical is the amount of infectious viral particles present in the transmitting body fluid . Higher concentrations are more likely associated with transmission events. Apparently, in HIV-1, the cutoff of 1500 copies of viral RNA per ml of plasma is required for efficient transmission .
Not surprisingly, plasma and semen viral loads are significantly lower in patients infected with HIV-2 compared to those infected with HIV-1 , providing a likely explanation for the reduced transmission rate and spread within human population. This lower viral load is observed throughout the infection and persists until late in the course of the disease, but is remarkably important during asymptomatic stage. During this stage, which in HIV-2 could last for several decades, an undetectable viremia is a hallmark of almost every HIV-2 patients. However, a similar proviral burden is detected in both HIV-1 and HIV-2-infected individuals . This apparent paradox suggests that the lower plasma viral load observed in HIV-2 infection may be due to lower levels of infectious virus production, or a better host-driven suppression of viral replication, or both.
Ultrastructural Analysis Of Vccs From Hiv
We analyzed ultrathin sections of HIV-2-infected macrophages by electron microscopy to further characterize the morphology of their VCCs . VCCs from MDMs infected with HIV-1 NLAD8-G or HIV-2 ROD9-G or HIV-2 JK-G exhibited highly similar morphologies. In all cases we observed viral budding profiles at the VCC limiting membranes , revealing the production of new virions. The budding process occurs away from the cytosol, at the limiting membrane of the VCC, and new virions accumulate in the VCC lumen. The VCCs contained mature and immature viral particles in their lumen. The presence of mature and immature particles revealed that they were able to mature. Quantification of the viral density in the lumen of the VCCs did not reveal any significant differences among the three types of infected MDMs . We observed higher numbers of compartments per section in HIV-2-infected MDMs, probably reflecting the higher rate of infection than seen with HIV-1 .
These results show that HIV-2 assembled, budded and accumulated in VCCs similarly to those present in HIV-1-infected MDMs. The main difference was the paucity of cytosolic Gag in HIV-2- versus HIV-1-infected cells.
Read Also: Nba Youngboy Got Herpes
Recommended Antiretroviral Therapy For Pregnant People With Hiv
HIV-2 has variable susceptibility to PIs, with lopinavir and darunavir having the most activity.31
The care of pregnant people with HIV-2 mono-infection has been based on expert opinion. A regimen with two NRTIs and an INSTI or a ritonavir-boosted PI currently is recommended for all pregnant people with HIV-2 infection. The following regimens can be used to treat HIV-2, based on the available efficacy and safety data on these drugs from clinical trials of pregnant people with HIV1 infection:
- DTG, RAL, darunavir/ritonavir, or lopinavir/ritonavir plus a dual-NRTI backbone of abacavir plus lamivudine , or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate or tenofovir alafenamide plus emtricitabine or 3TC are the recommended regimens for treating HIV-2 mono-infection in pregnant people and people who are trying to conceive. See Recommendations for Use of Antiretroviral Drugs During Pregnancy and Appendix C: Antiretroviral Counseling Guide for Health Care Providers.
- Zidovudine plus 3TC can be used as an alternative dual-NRTI backbone.
- NNRTIs should not be used because they are not active against HIV-2.
No data exist on the impact of scheduled cesarean delivery on HIV-2 perinatal transmission. The risk to infants from breastfeeding is lower for HIV-2 than for HIV-1, but breastfeeding should be avoided in the United States and other countries where safe infant formula is readily available.16
Where Did Myths About Hiv Come From
The early 1980s were a scary time for people living with HIV. By the spring of 1983, scientists had identified the virus responsible for a mysterious illness called acquired immune deficiency syndrome , but they didnt understand how it passed from person to person.
Initially, some researchers speculated this new infection could be passed through casual contact or even through the air, like tuberculosis. Others theorized it might be hitching a ride with mosquitoes or other insects, like malaria.
But the damage had already been done. Myths about HIV transmission had already taken root, and these myths continue to make life difficult for the 1.1 million people living with HIV today in the United States.
Today we have a solid scientific understanding of HIV transmission. We know that HIV can only be transmitted in very limited circumstances, such as sexual contact or needle sharing. And we have a much better understanding of the way that viral loadthat is, the amount of HIV in a persons bloodstreaminfluences their chances of passing on the virus.
You can use this information to educate yourself, your friends, and your community about the real risk of HIV transmission.
You May Like: How Long Does Aids Last
What Is Hiv And What Is Aids
HIV/AIDS are widely known as incurable sexually transmitted diseases, but you might not know the difference between these acronyms and what they stand for.
For simplicityâs sake, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
If a person takes a blood test and receives a diagnosis of HIV, then they are HIV positiveâif a person does not have HIV, then they are HIV negative. HIV causes havoc in a personâs body by weakening their immune system . HIV progressively destroys the cellular part of the immune systemâparticularly types of white blood cells called CD4 cellsâwhich, over time, makes the person become immunodeficient .
As the HIV infection develops in the body, the person will become more and more immunodeficient until they reach a point where they are classified as having Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome . This is often the end stage of an HIV infection, where a personâs body is so immunodeficient that they develop infections, diseases, or cancers and are no longer able to mount a immune defense and fight them off .
There is no cure for HIV . But, if a person does become infected with HIV there are treatments available which can help keep a person healthy.
This Campaign Wants To Save Lives And It Wants Those Lives To Be Lived Well
The isiZulu word mina translates to me in English. But for most South Africans, a person is only a person among other people. The sense of belonging to a community comes with a responsibility to play ones part and contribute to the greater good.
Thats why the Mina. For Men. For Health campaign has a strong sense of Ubunthu at its core. It was launched in 2020 with the aim of using mens health and wellbeing as a springboard to create positive social change in local communities.
With a focus on encouraging men to find out their HIV status and, if they test positive, to start and stay on treatment, Mina wants to save lives and it wants those lives to be lived well. It therefore also promotes other aspects of healthy living such the importance of exercising, eating well and having the Covid-19 vaccine.
Led by the department of health, with support from the US Presidents Emergency Plan for Aids Relief and the US Agency for International Development, Mina is active in 400 public health facilities across SA.
It empowers men by offering direct links to clinicians, access to support groups, and education on topics as urgent as the rising number of cases of lifestyle diseases and sexually transmitted infections among Mzansis men.
Through its educational materials such as the Roadmap to Health leaflet and Impilo magazine, it provides HIV positive men with all the information theyll need on their journey to health.
Don’t Miss: How Long Can Hiv Be Dormant In Your System
How Is Herpes Transmitted
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
What is herpes, and how is herpes transmitted? Those are the questions on the menu today, and as usual, we’re here with answers. Herpes is a contagious virus thats transmitted in a variety of ways, from kissing to direct sexual contact. Its also one of the most common viral infections, affecting up to 67% of people aged 14-49 in the United States and 16% of all adults .
Although herpes infection rates are declining, its still an extremely common virus. Part of this is due to the ease at which herpes can be transmitted from one person to another through normal activity that most of us dont think of as risky.
In this guide, we’ll discuss how HSV-1 and HSV-2 can spread from one person to others, and share simple precautions that you can take to reduce your risk of exposure to herpes from friends, family members and sexual partners.
Myth : Blood Transfusions Raise The Risk Of Hiv
Fact: Healthcare professionals in the United States and many other countries rigorously test the blood supply for a variety of blood-related infections, including HIV.
Banked blood that is available for transfusion does not contain HIV. The virus cannot spread through organ and tissue donations, as these also undergo testing.
When scientists were first identifying HIV, they did not know what caused the virus or how it spread. As a result, they did not test donated blood for HIV, and some people contracted the virus in this way.
Now, however, strict testing ensures that no viruses are present in the blood supply.
Anyone who has concerns about blood or organs they are going to receive can speak to a healthcare professional about the product and the testing process.
It is not possible to contract HIV by donating blood, as all needles and other materials are sterile.
Also Check: Can Hiv Cause Hair Loss
Other Types Of Hiv Risks
Another less-common way HIV is transmitted in the United States is needlestick injury. This typically happens when a health care worker is accidentally jabbed by a used needle or syringe that contains HIV-positive blood. Again, this is very rare.
Thirty years ago, blood transfusions and organ donations were an especially dangerous way that some people acquired HIV. Nowadays, donated blood and organs are routinely tested.
Genomic Organization Of Hiv
The genomic information of HIV-2 is comprised in two identical copies of 9.2 kb single strand RNA. HIV-2 genome encodes nine open reading frames , flanked by two long terminal repeats . Soon after entry into target cell the genomic RNA is converted to a double-stranded DNA molecule, a reaction catalized by reverse transcriptase enzyme, that occurs in a cytoplasmic complex, named reverse transcriptase complex . The RTC transforms to the preintegration complex composed by several cellular and viral components, e.g. viral DNA, RT, integrase , matrix and Vpr proteins . This PIC allows the reverse transcribed viral DNA to enter the nucleus through the nuclear pore and to be integrated into the genome of target cell.
After integration, the HIV-2 proviral DNA is transcribed into several mRNAs by cellular RNA polymerase II, a process initiated through the binding of cellular activation factors to the viral LTR, culminating in the synthesis of viral proteins and in the production of new progeny virions. The function of each HIV-2 protein has been inferred from HIV-1 counterparts and reviewed in .
Recommended Reading: How Long Can Aids Go Undetected
Hiv Transmission And Risk: Separating Fact From Fiction
Its much harder to transmit HIV than most people think.Thanks to years of dedicated work by scientists and researchers, we now have a solid understanding of the way HIV passes from person to person.
Unfortunately, much of our society is still clinging to harmful, outdated myths about HIV transmission.
In a recent survey, 28% of millennials and Gen Zers said they would be reluctant to hug, talk to, or even associate with someone living with HIVdespite the fact that none of those behaviors pose any risk.
Thankfully, we have good science to combat misinformation about the way HIV passes from one person to another. In this resource guide, well break down the science of HIV transmission and dispel harmful misconceptions. Well also explain why certain groups of people are more likely to be living with HIV than others, and well offer practical steps you can take to keep yourself HIV negativeor, if youre living with HIV, to prevent onward transmission of the virus.
If youre reading this guide because you were recently diagnosed with HIV, remember that you will be OK. Powerful medicines can help you live a long and healthy life. When it comes to HIV transmission, you shouldnt be afraid to hug, kiss, and touch your loved ones. You will not hurt them.
Dont Miss: How Long Can Aids Go Undetected