What Are The Chances Of Becoming Infected With Hiv If My Partner Doesn’t Come Inside Me
Whilst research suggests that high concentrations of HIV can sometimes be detected in pre cum, it is difficult to judge whether HIV is present in sufficient quantities for infection to occur. To guard against the possibility of infection with HIV or any other STI it is best to practice safer sex – sex with a condom from start to finish.
What Does This Mean For Me
‘Undetectable equals Untransmittable’ has been a life-changing finding for many people living with HIV. It means that if you are on effective treatment with an undetectable viral load, you do not have to worry about passing on HIV through sex, even if you do not use a condom.
This has helped many people living with HIV have more fulfilling sex lives and less anxiety around sex.
Knowing that ‘Undetectable equals Untransmittable’ is especially useful for people wishing to have a child. Couples in which one person has undetectable HIV and the other is HIV negative can have unprotected sex in order to conceive.
However, the law on HIV may not have caught up with the science. In some countries, condomless sex without disclosing your HIV status is a criminal offence, regardless of the likelihood of HIV transmission. For information on specific countries, visit our page on criminalisation laws around the world.
“For as long as your viral load stays undetectable, your chance of passing on HIV to a sexual partner is zero.”
Hiv And Maternal Transmission
HIV can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or through breastfeeding. If left untreated throughout these stages, there is a 15-45% chance of an HIV positive mother transmitting the virus to their child . However there are treatment options to prevent this from happening.
If pregnancy occurs and there has been potential HIV exposure, ask a healthcare provider about getting tested for HIV as early as possible. Taking medications called antiretroviral therapy as prescribed can reduce the viral load so that the baby has a very low chance of contracting HIV .
A person with HIV should not breastfeed their child, as breast milk can transmit HIV. Even if a person is taking ART and their viral loads are undetectable, they should still not breastfeed.
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Is It True That Gay Men Are More At Risk For Hiv Than Other People
Although anyone can be at risk for HIV, some people can be more at risk depending upon the types of sexual practices and drug use they are engaging in. Being gay does not necessarily mean you are at higher risk, but certain activities gay men sometimes participate in might put them at greater risk. Overall, the gay male population in Canada has higher rates of HIV infection than some other populations. Stigma and homophobia can affect a person’s ability to access information about safer sex specifically for gay men.
Low/no Risk Sexual Practices
There are a number of sexual practices that present no or low risk for HIV transmission that you and a partners can enjoy. These include the following:
Massage and rubbing bodies against each other presents no risk of passing on HIV.
RimmingYou cannot acquire or pass on HIV by rimming . However, hepatitis A and gut infections such as shigella are easily passed on this way.
KissingSaliva does not transmit HIV meaning kissing is completely safe.
WatersportsThe terms watersports and piss-play refer to sexual acts involving urine. HIV is not present in urine so watersports carry no risk of HIV transmission.
Oral sexOral sex carries a very small risk for HIV transmission. For more detailed information, check out our Oral Sex page.
FingeringPlaying with someones arse or vagina with your fingers is a low risk activity for passing on HIV. However, trimmed fingernails and thorough hand washing is a good idea to help prevent damage to the wall of the anus or vagina and to lessen the risk of passing or acquiring a sexually transmitted infection .
FistingFisting means inserting your fist in someones arse or vagina. Fists can create serious cuts in the lining of the arse or vagina, which can allow HIV to be passed on if the person being fisted is then fucked without a condom. The person doing the fisting could also get HIV if they have any cuts or scratches. Latex gloves are important for protecting both participants. Surgical gloves are best.
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Doubts Persist Even When Risk Is Statistically Zero
Despite increased public awareness about HIV, there remains a lot of confusion about how you can get infected and how you cannot. For example, even though people understand that you can’t get HIV from utensils, there are many who will experience a twinge of concern if they learned that the chef of their favorite restaurant has HIV.
HIV has a way of spurring anxieties in even the best of us and, with it, our sense of reason. Relieving those anxieties often requires us to do more than just lay out the rules. Instead, we need to understand what conditions are required for an infection to take place and why things like hugging, touching, sneezing, or kissing simply do not satisfy those conditions.
Prevalence Of Extragenital Gonorrhoea And Chlamydia In Msm
Many epidemiological studies have reported on the point prevalence of extragenital gonorrhoea and chlamydia in MSM. Chan and colleagues published a review in 2016 summarising the prevalence of extragenital gonorrhoea and chlamydia from 53 studies however, these estimates vary substantially across geographical regions and study settings. Overall, the authors reported that the median prevalence of gonorrhoea at the oropharynx was similar to the anorectum . In contrast, the median prevalence of chlamydia in the anorectum was much higher than in the oropharynx .
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Sharing Food Drink Or Utensils
Speaking of mouths: Everything I just mentioned when explaining why kissing is not an HIV-transmission risk also applies to eating and drinking. That includes every type of normal food- or drink-sharing scenario you can think of, including splitting a plate of nachos, drinking from the same water bottle, and using the same fork when sharing a piece of cake.
The only documented cases of HIV transmission through food are extremely specific: They involve food that a person with HIV pre-chewed and then fed to an infant.
Needless to say, this is an extraordinarily rare eventonly a few cases have ever been recordedand they most likely involved blood entering the food due to the adult having poor oral hygiene.
So unless youre making like a mama bird and its chick, you can enjoy a meal or a drink with a person whos living with HIV and have zero concern that youre putting yourself at risk.
Viral Load At Different Stages
During the first few weeks after someone gets HIV, viral load is usually very high typically several million viral copies per millilitre of blood . There is a considerable risk of passing on HIV at this point. In fact, many people acquire HIV from someone who has only recently acquired it themselves .
After this period of early infection, viral load usually drops. A typical viral load in someone not taking treatment may be 50,000 copies/ml. There is still a considerable risk of passing HIV on.
After starting HIV treatment, viral load usually falls rapidly. Within three to six months, most peoples viral load has become undetectable.
Most clinics in the UK report a viral load as undetectable if it is below 20-50 copies/ml. However, if your viral load remains below 200 copies/ml , there is no risk of passing HIV to your sexual partners. There is no need to worry if your viral load goes slightly above the detection limit of 20-50 copies/ml.
When viral load is detectable, this indicates that HIV is replicating in the body. If the person is taking HIV treatment but their viral load is detectable, the treatment is not working properly. There may still be a risk of HIV transmission to sexual partners.
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Is Deep Kissing A Route Of Hiv Transmission
Deep or open-mouthed kissing is a very low risk activity in terms of HIV transmission. HIV is only present in saliva in very minute amounts, insufficient to cause infection with HIV. There has been only one documented case of someone becoming infected with HIV through kissing a result of exposure to infected blood during open-mouthed kissing. If you or your partner have blood in your mouth, you should avoid kissing until the bleeding stops.
How Does Hiv Work
The full scientific name for HIV is human immunodeficiency virus. Its an infection that attacks the immune system, and it operates like this:
- The virus itself is shaped like a bowling ball covered in tiny spikes
- After HIV enters the bloodstream, it uses those tiny spikes to latch on to white blood cells , the bodys first line of defense against infections
- As soon as HIV gets inside white blood cells, it uses the cells own machinery to create copies of itself, creating effective camouflage that tricks the immune system into leaving it alone
- As HIV creates even more copies of itself, it hijacks a persons immune system
- A weakened immune system means that people living with untreated HIV may start to get all sorts of infections that would never normally make them sickEventually, without proper treatment, HIV leads to AIDS and becomes life-threatening
Todays anti-HIV medicines have been designed to address each stage of the infection process.
Some of these medications, which are also called antiretrovirals, stop HIVs spikes from latching on to CD4 cells. Others use different methods to stop HIV from replicating.
These drugs cant completely eradicate the virus from a persons body, but they do successfully stifle its ability to make copies of itself.
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How Hiv Cannot Be Spread
From both a biological and epidemiological evidence, HIV cannot and has never been shown to be passed from one person to the next by the following means:
- Touching, hugging, kissing or shaking hands
- Touching an object an HIV-positive person has touched
- Sharing utensils or cups
- Eating food prepared by an HIV-positive person
- Sharing grooming items, even toothbrushes or razors
- Getting spit on by an HIV-positive person
- Getting bitten by an HIV-positive person
- Touching semen or vaginal fluid
- Getting blood from an HIV-positive person on you
- Using public fountains, toilet seats, or showers
To date, there has not been a single documented case of transmission by any of these means.
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 .
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What Are The Odds Of Getting Hiv From A One
Let’s start by scrubbing the “one night stand” bit from the question. In terms of HIV, it’s completely irrelevant whether sex took place as a one-off or in a 10-year relationship, with a sex worker or in a marital bed, with someone you love or with someone you regret ever meeting.
But there is a reasonable question to be asked about the odds of getting HIV during a single sexual act.
To answer it, the most important things to know are:
- Is the person you’re having sex with living with HIV?
- If they’re living with HIV, are they on HIV treatment, and is their viral load undetectable?
- Are you taking pre-exposure prophylaxis ?
- Did you use a male or female condom?
If the person is living with HIV, their viral load is detectable, you’re not on PrEP, and you didn’t use a condom, then the risk of sex depends on kind of sex we are talking about. Let’s limit this discussion to penetrative vaginal or anal sex.
For vaginal sex or for anal sex as the insertive partner, the odds may be about one in 1,000. For anal sex as the receptive partner , the odds may be about one in 100.
How Do I Explain This To A Sexual Partner
If you have sexual partners who are not living with HIV, explaining U=U to them is likely to be mutually beneficial. If you had previously relied on other means of preventing HIV transmission , you may jointly decide that these methods are no longer necessary because of U=U.
It may take some time for an HIV-negative partner to accept the U=U message and to rely on it as the sole method of preventing HIV. Some HIV-negative people may reject the message or deny its accuracy. It may be helpful to direct your partner to information resources that explain the accuracy and significance of U=U. NAM has also produced a page for people who dont have HIV to help them understand the impact of an undetectable viral load on HIV transmission.
Another option could be for your partner to hear about U=U from a healthcare worker or another reliable and trusted source.
Despite sharing this information, some people may still not accept that U=U. In this kind of situation, it is important to find a balance between providing your partners with information and taking care of yourself.
Many people find it difficult to talk about sex, even with the person who is closest to them. If this is the case, you might want to discuss your concerns with someone at your HIV clinic, sexual health clinic or a support organisation. This can help you clarify your thoughts and what youd like to say.
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Can You Get Hiv From Saliva
After several years of conducting various studies in universities and scientific centers around the world, it has not been proven that there is contagion through saliva, but rather it has been seen that the viral load, that is, the concentrated amount of virus in this fluid, it is too small to transmit HIV simply by contact with saliva. Therefore, the scientists and doctors responsible for these studies have long said that saliva does NOT infect HIV , since the presence of this is not enough in this fluid.
It has also been revealed that there are factors in the oral cavity that prevent this virus from remaining in this part of the body and that, therefore, make it impossible for it to spread this way. It is mainly that in the mouth there are enzymes and microorganisms that work by hindering the activity of the virus and that air circulates constantly in the mouth and oxygen is lethal for HIV.
Knowing this, we can now also answer another very common question: can you get HIV from a kiss? . Obviously the answer is that NO for the same reason, the amount of virus is not enough for us.
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.
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Can You Get Hiv From A Blood Transfusion
Receiving a blood transfusion or other products made from blood is safe in the UK as all blood products have been screened for infections such as HIV since 1985.
In countries that dont have strict checks on the safety of their blood supply, receiving contaminated blood can pass the virus on. This can also happen in countries that dont screen other blood products, organs or sperm.
Giving blood has never been a risk.
Whats The Risk Of Transmission Anyway
Outside of sexual transmission, HIV is transmitted through blood. Police and corrections officers are far less likely to be exposed to a blood-borne virus than hospital workers. When exposure does occur, it tends to be less serious.
There does not appear to be any recorded case of an Australian police officer being infected with HIV in the course of their duties.
Rates of HIV infection in the community are dropping anyway. Around 0.1% of the Australian population is living with HIV. The vast majority are on effective treatment which reduces transmission to zero. By 2022, Australias aiming for virtual elimination.
As hepatitis C and HIV are blood-borne viruses, saliva alone cannot transmit them. Sometimes, the mouth can be contaminated with blood, particularly if there has been traumatic injury. But contact between bloody saliva and intact skin does not transmit hepatitis C or HIV.
A 2018 study bringing together more than 30 years of studies in HIV transmission concluded:
There is no risk of transmitting HIV through spitting, and the risk through biting is negligible.
A similar 2018 study looked at the risk of hepatitis C transmission and concluded the risk appears to be very low.
Of the blood-borne viruses, hepatitis B, the most transmissible of these viruses, is completely preventable through a vaccine all front-line workers receive.
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