Know Your Partners Viral Load Count
For ART to be effective, your partner has to take the medication every day, at the same time each day. Skipping doses can cause the virus to replicate unchecked and possibly mutate into a form thats resistant to the medication. If that occurs, your partners viral load count may increase, which means there is a greater likelihood that the virus can be transmitted to you.
Encourage your partner to get their viral load tested at least twice a year, if not more often. If the results demonstrate undetectable levels of HIV, then Its pretty safe ,” says Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH, associate division chief of the division of HIV, infectious diseases, and global medicine at University of California, San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital.
Contaminated Blood Transfusions And Organ/tissue Transplants
- receiving blood transfusions, blood products, or organ/tissue transplants that are contaminated with HIV. This risk is extremely small because most countries test blood products for HIV first.
If adequate safety practices are not in place, healthcare workers can also be at risk of HIV from cuts made by a needle or sharp object with infected blood on it. However, the risk of occupational exposure, is very low in most countries.
If you think you have been exposed to HIV, the only way to find out if you have HIV is to have an HIV test.
Sharing Needles And Injecting Equipment
If you inject drugs, this could expose you to HIV and other viruses found in blood, such as hepatitis C.
It’s important not to share needles, syringes, injecting equipment such as spoons and swabs, or the actual drugs or liquids used to dilute them.
Many local authorities and pharmacies offer needle exchange programmes, where used needles can be exchanged for clean ones.
If you’re a heroin user, consider enrolling in a methadone programme. Methadone can be taken as a liquid, so it reduces your risk of getting HIV.
A GP or drug counsellor should be able to advise you about both needle exchange programmes and methadone programmes.
If you’re having a tattoo or piercing, it’s important that a clean, sterilised needle is always used.
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How Do You Test For Hiv
Tests for HIV can be done through either blood or an oral swab.
- Check out GYT UC Davis for information about getting yourself tested on and off campus.
- To find a place to get yourself tested for STIs including HIV in Davis and the surrounding area, check out the UC Davis Sexcess Map.
- If you are covered under another persons health plan in California and are concerned about confidentiality, then you can check out My Health, My Info for assistance with submitting a Confidential Communication Request to your insurance provider.
What Are Hiv And Aids
- HIV is a virus that attacks and weakens a person’s immune system. The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body and fight off germs and diseases.
- If the immune system of an HIV-positive person gets so weak that it can no longer fight off a range of health problems it would normally be able to cope with, the person is considered to have AIDS.
- HIV can be passed from person to person through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk and other body fluids. It can happen:
- When a person has sex with someone who has the HIV virus and they do not use a condom
- When people exchange infected needles or syringes
- During pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding, when an HIV-positive mom can pass the virus to her baby .
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Information for the Public
- Other Languages: Español | | | | | | Kreyòl ayisyen | | | Italiano | Polski | Français | |
- Clinics and community organizations can help you get HIV and STI testing, HIV treatment, pre-exposure prophylaxis and emergency post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV.
If you need emergency PEP to prevent HIV, call the NYC PEP Hotline at 844-3-PEPNYC . You may be able to take PEP without a clinic visit.
Information for Medical Providers
What Are Some Behaviors That Can Raise A Woman’s Risk For Hiv
Behaviors that raise a womans risk for HIV include:
- Having sex with a male partner who has had sex with another man or who has used intravenous drugs. Sex with a man is the most common way women are infected with HIV.
- Using injection drugs and sharing needles. This is the second most common way that HIV is spread.
- Abusing drugs and alcohol. This can lead to risky behavior, including having sex without a condom, not knowing a partners HIV status, or injecting drugs.
Women who drink alcohol or use drugs may also be at higher risk of sexual assault or rape, which may put you at risk for HIV. If you are assaulted or raped, you need to see a doctor right away. Your doctor may decide that you should get post-exposure prophylaxis . These drugs may lower your chances of getting HIV after you have been exposed to the virus. But these drugs work only if you see a doctor within three days of exposure.
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How Is Hiv Transmitted
The person-to-person spread of HIV is called HIV transmission. People can get or transmit HIV only through specific activities, such as sex or injection drug use. HIV can be transmitted only in certain body fluids from a person who has HIV:
- Vaginal fluids
- Breast milk
HIV transmission is only possible if these fluids come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or are directly injected into the bloodstream . Mucous membranes are found inside the rectum, the vagina, the opening of the penis, and the mouth.
In the United States, HIV is spread mainly by:
- Having anal or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV
- Sharing injection drug equipment , such as needles, with someone who has HIV
HIV can also spread from a woman with HIV to her child during pregnancy, childbirth , or breastfeeding. This is called perinatal transmission of HIV. Perinatal transmission of HIV is also called mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
You cannot get HIV from casual contact with a person who has HIV, such as a handshake, a hug, or a closed-mouth kiss. And you cannot get HIV from contact with objects, such as toilet seats, doorknobs, or dishes used by a person who has HIV.
Use the You Can Safely ShareWith Someone With HIV infographic from HIVinfo to spread this message.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv
Some people get flu-like symptoms a month or two after they have been infected. This is called the acute stage. These symptoms often go away within a week to a month.
You can have HIV for many years before feeling ill. This is called clinical latency or the chronic stage.
AIDS is the most severe stage of HIV infection. In this stage, the immune system has been weakened by the HIV virus and is less able to fight off infections. Opportunistic infections are infections that could generally be fought off by a healthy immune system. In order to be diagnosed with AIDS, you have to have fewer than 200 CD4 cells per cubic millimeter of blood , OR you must have developed what are called opportunistic infections or certain cancers. You can develop AIDS even if your CD4 count is not 200 or lower.
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Being With A Partner Who Has Hiv
Just because someone is living with HIV doesnt mean they expect their partner to be an expert on it. But understanding HIV and how to prevent exposure is critical to maintaining a safe and healthy relationship.
Ask them questions and get educated on what living with the condition means. Maintain open communication and discuss the desire to be involved in the management of their HIV.
Emotional support may also help a person living with HIV manage their healthcare better. This can improve their overall health.
A healthy relationship can include:
- helping a partner adhere to their treatment, if needed
- talking to a healthcare provider about preexposure prophylaxis or postexposure prophylaxis , two types of medication
- discussing and choosing the best prevention options available for both people in the relationship
Following each of these suggestions can decrease the chances of HIV transmission, ease unfounded fears with the help of education, and potentially improve the health of both people in the relationship.
HIV is a chronic condition treated with antiretroviral therapy. Antiretroviral medications control the virus by lowering the amount of HIV found in the blood, which is also known as the viral load. These medications also lower the amount of the virus in other bodily fluids such as semen, anal or rectal secretions, and vaginal fluids.
How Do I Avoid Getting Hiv During Sex
HIV is spread through contact with blood or sexual fluids , usually during vaginal and anal sex. So the only 100% certain way to avoid HIV is to not have vaginal or anal sex.
But most people do have sex at some point in their lives, so learning about HIV prevention and knowing how to have safer sex is important. Using condoms REALLY lowers your risk of getting HIV. If youre going to have sex, using condoms every single time is the best way to protect yourself from HIV. Theres also a daily pill you can take called PrEP that can help prevent HIV. Your doctor or nurse can tell you if PrEP is right for you.
Some sexual activities are safer than others when it comes to getting HIV. These activities are no risk theyve never caused a reported case of HIV:
having oral sex with a condom or dental dam
using clean sex toys
These activities are lower risk theyve only caused a few reported cases of HIV :
“French or deep kissing
vaginal sex with a condom and/or PrEP
anal sex with a condom and/or PrEP
oral sex without a condom or dental dam
These activities are high risk millions of people get HIV this way:
Theres no vaccine that protects against HIV, but lots of people are working on making one. And there are medicines that can help prevent HIV.
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Are Hiv Medicines Used At Other Times To Prevent Hiv Transmission
Yes, HIV medicines are also used for post-exposure prophylaxis and to prevent perinatal transmission of HIV.
- Post-exposure prophylaxis PEP means taking HIV medicines within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV to prevent HIV infection. PEP should be used only in emergency situations. It is not meant for regular use by people who may be exposed to HIV frequently. For more information, read the HIVinfo fact sheet on Post-Exposure Prophylaxis .
- Prevention of perinatal transmission of HIVPregnant women with HIV take HIV medicines for their own health and to prevent perinatal transmission of HIV. After birth, babies born to women with HIV receive HIV medicine to protect them from infection with any HIV that may have passed from mother to child during childbirth. For more information, read the HIVinfo fact sheet on Preventing Perinatal Transmission of HIV.
How Are Hiv And Aids Treated
Medicines can help people with HIV stay healthy. They can also prevent HIV from becoming AIDS. People with HIV and AIDS usually need to take a few different medicines. The medicines must be taken exactly as prescribed or they won’t work.
- help keep the number of CD4 cells high
- lower the viral load of HIV
Regular blood tests will check to see how well the medicines are working.
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How Can You Prevent Getting Or Transmitting Hiv Through Sex
There are several ways to prevent getting or transmitting HIV through anal or vaginal sex.
If you have HIV, the most important thing you can do to prevent transmission and stay healthy is to take your HIV medicine , every day, exactly as prescribed. People living with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners. Read more about Treatment as Prevention. There also are other options to choose from, below.
How Can I Prevent Hiv If I Get Tattoos Or Body Piercings
Follow these steps to lower your risk of getting HIV:
- Ask questions about how the staff sterilizes their equipment. Single-use instruments that cut the skin should be used once and then thrown away. Reusable instruments that cut the skin should be cleaned and sterilized between uses.
- Find out what steps the staff takes to prevent HIV and other infections, like hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
- Make sure your tattoo parlor follows state regulations and health inspections.
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How Can A Person Reduce The Risk Of Getting Hiv
Anyone can get HIV, but you can take steps to protect yourself from HIV.
- Get tested for HIV. Talk to your partner about HIV testing and get tested before you have sex. Use the GetTested locator from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find an HIV testing location near you.
- Choose less risky sexual behaviors. HIV is mainly spread by having anal or vaginal sex without a condom or without taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV.
- Use condoms every time you have sex. Read this fact sheet from CDC on how to use condoms correctly.
- Limit your number of sexual partners. The more partners you have, the more likely you are to have a partner with poorly controlled HIV or to have a partner with a sexually transmitted disease . Both of these factors can increase the risk of HIV.
- Get tested and treated for STDs. Insist that your partners get tested and treated, too. Having an STD can increase your risk of getting HIV or spreading it to others.
- Talk to your health care provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis . PrEP is an HIV prevention option for people who do not have HIV but who are at risk of getting HIV. PrEP involves taking a specific HIV medicine every day to reduce the risk of getting HIV through sex or injection drug use. For more information, read the HIVinfo fact sheet on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis .
- Do not inject drugs. But if you do, use only sterile drug injection equipment and water, and never share your equipment with others.
I’m Pregnant And Have Hiv Will My Baby Get Hiv
If you are getting treatment for HIV, the answer is most likely no. When HIV medicine is used consistently and correctly, a pregnant woman living with HIV who is treated for HIV early in her pregnancy can lower the risk of delivering a baby with HIV to less than 1%. Without treatment, this risk is about 25% in the United States.6
All women need to be tested for HIV during their first prenatal care visit, early in the pregnancy. High-risk women who get a negative HIV test result should be tested again later in pregnancy.
Treatment, called antiretroviral therapy, works best when it is:
- Started as early as possible in pregnancy
- Also given during labor and delivery
- Given to the infant after birth
If you are HIV-positive and your viral load is greater than 1,000 copies per milliliter, your doctor may recommend delivering your baby by cesarean .
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What Unique Challenges Do Women Face In Preventing Hiv
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some prevention challenges are unique to women:2
- Women can pass HIV to their babies during pregnancy and birth and through breastfeeding.
- A woman’s anatomy makes it easier to get HIV through sex compared with a man’s anatomy.
- Having a sexually transmitted infection raises a woman’s risk for HIV more than a man’s.
- Women are more likely to lack control in relationships and fear violence, stigma, or abandonment when trying to prevent HIV exposure.
- Women are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse. People with a history of sexual abuse are more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors like exchanging sex for drugs, having multiple partners, or having sex with a partner who is physically abusive when asked to use a condom.
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