Hiv Plus: One Woman Shares Her Journey Of Living With Hiv For Over Three Decades
In honoring long-term survivors and National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day on March 10, I had the opportunity to speak with Ms. Kathy Bennett. She is a 63-year-old Black woman who has been living with HIV for over 31 years. She recently led the longest running HIV support group in Maryland.
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Can You Catch Hiv From Oral Sex
HIV is mainly spread through unprotected sexual intercourse. So use condoms. The risk of catching HIV from giving or receiving oral sex is very small, but isnt zero. Lets go through the facts:
If youre a man receiving oral sex from someone with HIV, there is a tiny risk of catching it if you have a cut on your genital area, or if the person giving you oral sex has a cut in their mouth. So its pretty unlikely really.
If youre a woman receiving oral sex from someone who is HIV positive, there is only a tiny risk of catching it from them: mainly if they have cuts or abrasions on their mouth and you too have cuts or abrasions on your vaginal area. So its pretty unlikely.
If youre giving oral sex to an HIV positive woman, the risks are again very small unless she is on her period. Then sometimes the blood from her period will contain the HIV virus and you could catch it if you have cuts or abrasions in your mouth.
Bear in mind that if the HIV positive person is on effective treatment and has whats called an undetectable viral load then a recent study has shown that the risk of catching HIV from them is practically zero.
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
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- Evaluate ingredients and composition:Do they have the potential to cause harm?
- Fact-check all health claims:Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
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What is HIV?
Human immunodeficiency virus attacks and weakens the immune system, making an individual more vulnerable to serious illness. Untreated HIV can lead to AIDS, which occurs when the immune system is so weak it becomes susceptible to serious infections and some cancers.
Theres an epidemic of HIV in the United States and around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , more than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and 1 in 7 of them arent aware of it. An estimated 39,782 people in the country were diagnosed with HIV in 2016 alone.
HIV transmission occurs in many different ways, including through condomless sex and by sharing needles. Risk of transmission varies depending on several factors including:
- sexual practices and the HIV status of sexual partners
- sharing needles for drug use or tattoos
- use of PrEP, PEP, condoms, or having an undetectable viral load
Its important to understand the risk level based on actual factors in preventing the transmission of HIV.
What We Know About Less Common Ways That You Can Get Hiv From Syringe Use
The risk for getting or transmitting HIV is very high if an HIV-negative person , other injection equipment with someone who has HIV. Its also possible to get HIV from tattooing or body piercing if the equipment has someone elses blood in it or if the ink is shared. The risk of getting HIV from tattooing or body piercing is higher when the person doing the procedure doesnt have a license. That person may be more likely to use unsafe practices like sharing syringes or ink. There are no known cases in the United States of anyone getting HIV this way.
More Information On average, an HIV-negative person has a 1 in 420 chance of getting HIV from a needlestick if the needle or syringe contains HIV-infected blood.
More InformationThere may be extremely tiny amounts of blood in syringes or works that you may not be able to see, but could still carry HIV. Be aware that HIV can survive in a used syringe for up to 42 days depending on temperature and other factors.
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Infectious Disease Special Edition: Covid
Social distancing is one of the curses of COVID-19, and may fall more heavily on people with HIV than on those without this burden. People with HIV, and in particular certain subsets of that groupthe LGBTQ community, older adults aging with HIV, etc.face more mental health issues than the general population, said Sarah Schmalzle, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, in Baltimore. Many of our patients also already face significant isolation and loneliness due to a combination of HIV stigma, losses of friends and family to HIV, and aging.
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
A United Nations program aimed at eliminating HIV/AIDS released a report Monday showing that the global response to the epidemic has fallen far short of goals set for 2020, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Monday, June 24, 2019
Usa Today: Fact Check: Research Proves Hiv Is The Cause Of Aids Contrary To Viral Claim
The claim: There is no proof HIV is the cause of AIDS. A Dec. 15 Facebook video shows Kary Mullis, a scientist known for denying the link between HIV and AIDS, claiming again there is no proof HIV is the cause of AIDS. The post was shared more than 1,000 times in a week. The clip comes from a 2009 documentary that promoted AIDS denialism, which has more than 300,000 views on YouTube.
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
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How To Minimize Risk
Clearly, the best way to minimize the risk of infection is to practice safer sex. This is especially true if you have multiple sex partners or are unsure about the health of a sex partner. These include condoms and dental dams for those engaging in cunnilingus or anilingus.
There are additional strategies that can further reduce risk:
- If you are HIV-positive, take your HIV medicine as prescribed. If your viral load remains undetectable, you have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to HIV-negative partners.
- If you are HIV-negative, you can ask your healthcare provider to prescribe HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis a type of therapy that can reduce your risk of infection by more than 90%.
- Regular HIV screening is recommended for persons at high risk of infection, including MSM, injecting drug users, and persons with multiple sex partners. Periodic STI screenings are also recommended.
Finally, communication is tantamount to the long-term avoidance of HIV. Whether you are HIV-positive or HIV-negative, the most harm comes from leaving things unspoken. Learn more about ways to negotiate safer sex or how to disclose your HIV status to someone you’re dating.
The Gw Hatchet: University Administers First Doses Of Mrna Hiv Vaccine Through Moderna Partnership
GW was one of the first institutions in the country to administer doses of the first mRNA HIV vaccines to human test subjects late last month. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences and its Vaccine Research Unit collaborated with Moderna to test the safety of the vaccine and the immune responses of two participants in the phase 1 clinical trial.
Friday, February 04, 2022
The COVID pandemic did not end the HIV-AIDS epidemic it may have obscured it for a while, raising hurdles to getting tested for HIV.
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
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How Do You Get Or Transmit Hiv
You can only get HIV by coming into direct contact with certain body fluids from a person with HIV who has a detectable viral load. These fluids are:
For transmission to occur, the HIV in these fluids must get into the bloodstream of an HIV-negative person through a mucous membrane open cuts or sores or by direct injection.
People 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.
When Is The Risk Higher
HIV is more likely to pass to others during the early stages of the infection.
Some factors that increase the risk of transmission include:
- sores or cuts in the mouth
- bleeding gums or gum disease
- contact with menstrual blood
- the presence of any other sexually transmitted infection
- the presence of a throat infection
- damage to the lining of the throat or mouth
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How Could Hiv Infect The Mouth And Throat
HIV is not able to infect most cells in the mouth. Only one cell type found in the mouth is vulnerable to HIV infection .
The tissue of the mouth and oesophagus is also very thick compared with genital tissues, and fluids stay in contact with it for a very short time because swallowing clears the mouth regularly. The mouth is therefore generally regarded as an unlikely route of HIV transmission.
Saliva contains numerous factors that have been found to inhibit HIV and stomach acid is likely to inactivate HIV in the same way as other viruses .
Does It Matter If I Get Pre
HIV can be acquired through , though if you have healthy teeth and gums its not a problem getting it in your mouth. HIV needs an entry point to be transmitted, so you may want to avoid getting these fluids in your mouth if you have bad gingivitis, an STI in the throat or other sores in the mouth. Its recommended to wait at least half an hour after brushing or flossing your teeth as well, to keep that risk low.
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Thebody: Hiv Seroconversion: Timeline Symptoms Testing And Treatment
There are several stages of HIV infectionfrom the initial exposure to the virus to the development of AIDSbut a lot of important changes happen during the earliest stage: seroconversion. So, exactly what is HIV seroconversion? It is the stage in which the immune system first starts to make antibodies to try to fight HIV after exposure. Once detectable levels of antibodies are produced, this is described as seroconversion.
Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Stat: Early Research Suggests Cancer Drug Could Help Flush Hiv From Its Hiding Spots
In a study published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine, researchers looked at 32 patients that had both cancer and HIV and found that pembrolizumab, which revives the immune system and encourages it to attack tumors, also has the ability to flush HIV out of its hiding spot in immune cells.
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center have used a new method theyre calling a molecular scissors to nearly eliminate HIV embedded in the genetic material of human cells.
Tuesday, July 06, 2021
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Estimating The Risk Per Exposure
A satisfactory answer to the question, How high is the risk of HIV transmission through oral sex? has been notoriously elusive. Collecting reliable data is challenging for several reasons:
- Very few people report oral sex as their sole risk.
- If a person practises any other form of unprotected intercourse in addition to unprotected oral sex, any resulting HIV infection is usually attributed to the higher risk behaviour.
Many reports of oral transmission are in the form of isolated and anecdotal reports, rather than from observational cohorts or other studies with more rigorous follow-up.
Most cohort studies following men who only practiced oral sex, or serodiscordant couples, have tended to show very low levels of risk, in many cases approaching zero. A few studies have given higher estimates which are difficult to reconcile with the others.
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Medscape: Fatigue Affects Cognitive Processing Speed In The Aging Hiv Population
Successful aging is something that most of us strive for. But with aging comes a pervasive condition called fatigue that, in many older adults, interferes with everyday functioning, mental health, social support, and overall quality of life. The relationship between fatigue and cognitive and functional impairment is one of particular interest in people living with HIV , a patient population that is disproportionately affected but whose lifespan now matches that of the general population.
Friday, May 20, 2022
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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.
The Odds Of Getting Herpes
âWhat are my odds of getting an infection?â This is the most common question we hear in our practice.
In this section, we summarize herpes statistics answering that question and many other related questions regarding herpes transmission:
- With and without protection
- While symptomatic versus while asymptomatic
- And the difference between the two types, HSV-1 and HSV-2
Statistics are one of the most important parts of medicine and doctors rely heavily on statistics for early diagnosis and treatment. They tell doctors how common a condition is in general, how easy it is to get an infection through a one-time contact or through multiple contacts, the chance of contracting the infection in different ways, and many other things.
First, we present tables statistical information. This is followed by FAQ answered by an expert STD physician.
Letâs dive in.
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What Is Oral Sex
Many people enjoy oral sex as part of their sex life but it is a very personal thing and not everybody likes it or chooses to do it. Different people like to give or receive oral sex in different ways. There are a whole variety of ways to lick, suck and stimulate someone. You may decide not to have oral sex at all, or you may enjoy experimenting with your partner to find out what gives you both pleasure.
It is important to talk to your partner so you can understand what you both enjoy and what you would prefer to avoid.
How Can You Prevent Getting Or Transmitting Hiv Through Sex
If you have HIV, the most important thing you can do to prevent transmission and stay healthy is to take HIV medicine exactly as prescribed. 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 HIV to their HIV-negative partners through sex. This is sometimes called HIV treatment as prevention or âundetectable = untransmittableâ . There also are other options to prevent transmitting HIV, below.
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Wbal: Maryland Hiv Researcher On Latest Research: It’s Not A Cure
Scientists used a cutting-edge stem cell transplant method to treat a woman’s HIV, but a lead researcher in Maryland said it’s too soon to celebrate. A U.S. woman is the third known person who is in HIV remission after receiving stem cells from umbilical cord blood, an American research team announced Wednesday.
Monday, February 07, 2022