How Is Hiv Transmitted Through Needles
HIV isnt transmitted only through sexual contact. Sharing needles also puts a person at higher risk of contracting HIV.
When a needle is injected into a persons body, it breaks the skin barrier. If the needle has already been injected into another person, it can carry traces of their blood, along with any infections they have. The contaminated needle can introduce these infections into the second persons body.
Researchers dont know if having an undetectable viral load reduces the risk of HIV transmission through shared needles, but its reasonable to assume it may provide some risk reduction.
HIV can affect anyone. Whatever their age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or race, everyone should take steps to protect themselves. But due to socioeconomic factors, some demographic groups have higher HIV transmission rates and generally are more affected by HIV.
According to the CDC , the general demographic traits most affected by HIV are:
Transgender women are also highly impacted by HIV transmissions as a population, reports the CDC .
These groups are disproportionately affected by HIV, but they arent inherently at greater risk of contracting HIV. An individuals personal risk depends on their behaviors, not on their age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, or any other demographic factor.
About The Infected Person :
- Is the source HIV negative or positive? They could be infected but not know yet. One in seven people living with HIV are unaware.
- Has the source had possible exposure to HIV through sex with multiple and/or anonymous partners, condomless sex, anal sex where both partners have a penis, or use of recreational drugs, injection drugs, or methamphetamines?
Chances Of Getting An Std From One Unprotected Encounter
Its understandable to wonder about the odds of getting an STD, including from a one night stand or other unprotected encounter. You might wonder whether its really such a big deal to have unprotected sexual contact. Of course, this is probably more of a concern for you if you recently had an unprotected encounter and are now unsure of whether you could have been exposed to an STD. Even if the person you were with didnt say anything about having an STD, its reasonable to wonder about the odds of catching an STD from that one encounter you had.
While it wont necessarily happen, it only takes one time coming in contact with an infected person to acquire a sexually transmitted disease. STDs can be spread from person to person through body fluids and/or skin contact, depending on the type. Because of this, the odds of catching an STD are high from just one time. You only need to come in contact with that infection to get it. The risk goes up from unprotected sex with multiple partners, but its still there from one partner and one encounter.
Even from having unprotected sexual intercourse one time, you have about a 30 percent chance of getting gonorrhea, chlamydia or syphilis from someone whos infected. So you can see that the chances of STD from one encounter are not 100 percent but that there are pretty good odds of getting one from just one time without protection.
You May Like: How Do Anti Hiv Drugs Work
People Unaware Of Having Hiv
Its estimated that about 1 in 7 people living with HIV in the United States dont know they have the virus.
People who are unaware that they have HIV are less likely to take precautions to avoid transmission to other people. They also likely dont take medications to suppress the virus.
If you dont currently have HIV, you can prevent your chances of infection by:
- discussing HIV and STIs with your partner before engaging in sexual activity
- using a barrier method every time you engage in sexual activity
- avoiding sharing needles
- talking with your doctor about postexposure prophylaxis if you may have been exposed to HIV in the past 72 hours
- getting tested for other STIs regularly or before engaging in sexual activity with a new partner
If you do have HIV, you can prevent transmitting it to others by:
- discussing HIV and STIs with your partner before engaging in sexual activity
- using a barrier method every time you engage in sexual activity
- taking your medications as prescribed
- avoiding sharing needles or drug injection equipment
- having your viral load tested regularly as recommended by your doctor
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.
Recommended Reading: How Long Can Hiv Hide In Your Body
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
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.
You May Like: How Long Does It Take To Get Hiv Symptoms
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.
Exploring Hiv Transmission Rates
World Health Organization , about 36.7 million people worldwide lived with HIV as of 2016. Still, thanks to antiretroviral therapy , people with HIV are leading longer, better quality lives. Many of these strides have been made in the United States.
To help reduce the risk of transmission, its important to understand how the virus is spread. HIV is only transmitted through bodily fluids, such as:
- breast milk
Learn which type of exposure is most likely to transmit the virus and how antiretroviral drugs are making a difference.
, direct blood transfusion is the route of exposure that poses the highest risk of transmission. While uncommon, receiving a blood transfusion from a donor with HIV may increase the risk.
The CDC also discusses HIV transmission risk in terms of how many times the virus is likely to be transmitted per 10,000 exposures. For example, for every 10,000 blood transfusions from a donor with HIV, the virus is likely to be transmitted 9,250 times.
Since 1985, however, blood banks have adopted stricter screening measures to identify blood with HIV. Now all blood donations are carefully tested for HIV. If they test positive, theyre discarded. As a result, the risk of contracting HIV from a blood transfusion is very low.
Don’t Miss: How Will You Know You Have Hiv
Are The Symptoms Of Hiv Different By Gender
While women and men can present differently with diseases and infection, as with males, there is no way to know if a female has HIV besides getting tested. While there are symptoms of contracting HIV, not everyone has symptoms. Testing is the only way to know. Some of the symptoms are:
- Lack of energy or fatigue
- Weight loss
- Frequent low-grade fevers and night sweats
- Frequent yeast infections
- Skin rashes that are hard to heal
- Short-term memory loss
Chances Of Getting An Std From Oral
Various STDS are able to spread through oral sex just as they can through vaginal intercourse and through anal sex. There can be increased risk if you dont use protection during oral sex, even if you do use them during other types of sex. Since pregnancy wont happen by oral sex and people may find it more pleasurable without protection, it may be likely that you wouldnt use protection during this type of sexual act. But the lack of protection makes you more vulnerable to contracting STDs.
Its possible to get an STD of the mouth or throat from oral sex or to spread an STD from the mouth or throat to the genitals, rectum or anus, but it depends on the type of STD as to how it can spread and where in your body you can get it. You could also have an STD that shows itself both on the mouth/throat area and the genital area.
Its hard to know whether your odds are higher with oral or penetrative sex. Thats because there havent been many studies on it and because people often have both types of sex, so its hard to separate them. Its best to assume that you could get an STD from any type of sexual contact, which is true. When any type of sexual contact is unprotected, the risk is higher.
You have an STD oral sex risk from these STDs:
Its also possible to get hepatitis A from oral sex, and this infection is sometimes considered an STD because it can be spread through sexual contact as well as through other means.
You May Like: Can Hiv Be Transmitted Through Saliva To An Open Wound
Path To Improved Health
There are many ways to prevent occupational exposure to HIV. To start, health care workers should treat all body fluids the same way. You should assume they are infected and take precautions:
- Use protective covering, such as gloves and goggles. You always should do this when dealing with blood and body fluids.
- Wash your hands and other skin areas right after contact with blood and body fluids.
- Be careful when handling and disposing of needles and sharp instruments.
- Use available safety devices to prevent needle stick injuries.
- Be aware of your employers post-exposure processes.
If an exposure does occur, follow these basic steps:
- For a skin puncture, induce bleeding at the wound site. Do this by applying gentle pressure around the wound as you wash the area with soap and water.
- For a skin or mucous splash, rinse the area well with water.
- Get the infected persons information. This includes name, address, phone number, and HIV status. If they are a patient, get their doctors contact information.
- Notify your supervisor and coworkers. If your place of work has other procedures in place, follow those .
- Seek immediate medical care. Go to your employee health unit, emergency department, or personal doctor.
Once you are with medical professionals, they will assess the exposure. If you have a skin puncture or cut, you may also need a tetanus toxoid booster. The following are some questions a doctor may ask about the exposure.
The Chance Of Hiv Transmission Through Needles: With Blood Transfusion Needle Sharing And Needle Prick
This table shows the chance of contracting HIV by means other than sex. Please note the much higher likelihood of getting HIV through needle sharing.
|1 transmission per 500 exposures||1 transmission per 160 exposures|
Get treated and/or tested for HIV
Same day treatment and testing
Also Check: Can You Get Hiv From Breast Milk
Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases
If you have another sexually transmitted disease , you may be more likely to get or transmit HIV.
- Getting tested and treated for STDs can lower your chances of getting or transmitting HIV and other STDs.
- If you have HIV and get and keep an undetectable viral load, getting an STD does not appear to increase the risk of transmitting HIV. But STDs can cause other problems.
- Using condoms can reduce your chances of getting or transmitting STDs that can be transmitted through genital fluids, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV.
- Condoms are less effective at preventing STDs that can be transmitted through sores or cuts on the skin, like human papillomavirus, genital herpes, and syphilis.
If youre sexually active, you and your partners should get tested for STDs, even if you dont have symptoms. To get tested for HIV or other STDs, find a testing site near you.
Hiv Transmission Can Occur After Only One Exposure
Assigning an actual percentage to the “riskiness” of a certain activity is a tricky business. While statistics may suggest that there is only a 1-in-200 chance of getting infected by such-and-such activity, that doesn’t mean you cant get infected after only one exposure.
Instead, a 0.5% “per exposure” risk is meant to indicate that an average of one infection will occur out of 200 people who engage in a particular activity. It doesn’t mean that you need to do something 200 times in order to get infected.
It’s important to remember that risk estimates are based on two factors and two factors alonethat one person has HIV and the other doesn’t. Additional co-factors, such as co-existing sexually transmitted infections , general health, and the infected person’s viral load, can further compound risk until a low-risk activity is suddenly considerably higher.
Also Check: What Is Hiv 2 Antibody
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. If taken as prescribed, HIV medicine can reduce a persons HIV viral load very low level, which keeps the immune system working and prevents illness. This is called viral suppression, defined as having less than 200 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood.
HIV medicine can also make the viral load so low that a standard lab test cant detect it. This is called having an undetectable level viral load. Almost everyone who takes HIV medicine as prescribed can achieve an undetectable viral load, usually within 6 months after starting treatment.
As noted above, people with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load can live long and healthy lives and will not transmit HIVto their HIV-negative partnersthrough sex.
HIV medicine is a powerful tool for preventing sexual transmission of HIV. But it works only if 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 as prescribed and visit their health care provider regularly to get a viral load test. Learn more.