Against All Odds: What Are Your Chances Of Getting Hiv In These Scenarios
Playing the HIV numbers game is lessand morerisky than you think.
EDITORS NOTE: Although the underlying ideas and messages in this article remain relevant, much HIV prevention research has been published since 2014, notably about there being effectively no risk of transmitting the virus if you are HIV positive and undetectable , as well as the effectiveness of pre-exposure prophylaxis . Go to #Prevention, #Undetectable, #TasP and #PrEP for the latest related updates.
Theres not a lot of certainty in these numbers. But they can be a good tool for understanding risk.
During sex, our risk perception is replaced by love, lust, trust and intimacy.
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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|
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What Puts You At Risk For Stds And Hiv
You’re at risk if you:
- Have sex without using a condom, with someone who is infected.
- Have had an STD.
- Have more than one sex partner.
- Are under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
- Many women have STDs without having symptoms. This means that unless she gets tested, she may have an STD and not know it.
- Young women are getting HIV or an STD because the tissue lining the vagina is more fragile.
If you are a woman, take charge of your sexual health. Be sure to schedule pelvic exams and pap smears every year. Get tested and learn how to protect yourself from STDs and HIV.
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Hiv During Pregnancy And Childbirth
Women living with HIV who are on treatment and have a stable undetectable viral load are extremely unlikely to transmit HIV to their baby during pregnancy and childbirth. There is a 1 in 1000 chance of transmitting HIV to the baby during pregnancy and delivery, when a woman is on antiretroviral treatment and has a viral load below 50 copies/ml .
HIV-positive women who are on treatment and have stable undetectable viral load, have a 1-2% chance of transmitting HIV to their baby if they breastfeed for 12 months.
So, although it is unlikely that a woman will transmit HIV to her baby when breastfeeding it is currently advised not to breastfeed.
Treatments That Help Reduce The Risk Of Hiv Transmission
If your partner is HIV positive, talk to your doctor about whether you should start taking a medication called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. These pills, which help prevent HIV from establishing itself in the body, can reduce a persons risk of permanent infection by up to 92 percent if taken consistently, according to the CDC.
If youre HIV negative and believe you might have been exposed to the virus, you can take an emergency medication called post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, which can lower your odds of being permanently infected with HIV. In order to work as effectively as possible, the medication has to be started within 72 hours of exposure and must be taken consistently once or twice a day for 28 days.
Finally, if your partner is HIV positive, he or she can drastically reduce the odds of passing along the virus by taking antiretroviral therapy, or ART. These medications can lower the amount of HIV that resides in the body to a level thats undetectable by modern testing. An international study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in July 2016 found that none of the more than 1,000 HIV-positive people whose levels were undetectable passed the virus to their HIV-negative partners during unprotected anal or vaginal sex during an average of two years.
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At What Stage Of The Infection Can Hiv Be Transmitted
Someone with HIV can pass on the virus if they have a detectable viral load.
This often happens during the first few months after infection when the levels of the virus in their body fluids are at their highest and they may not yet have been diagnosed.
This is why testing and early diagnosis are so important you can start treatment right away to protect your health and reduce your viral load to undetectable levels.
If the person with HIV has a detectable viral load, the virus is free to enter the HIV negative persons bloodstream. This can happen during vaginal and anal sex .
It can also happen when an object that has body fluids on it is put inside an HIV negative person during sex.
The Chance Of Hiv Transmission With Protection
The likelihood of HIV transmission goes down by 70% when condoms are used. This table summarizes the chance of contracting HIV through one-time contact when protection is used.
|Protected receptive vaginal||Protected insertive vaginal||Protected receptive rectal||Protected insertive rectal|
|Per exposure||1 transmission per 4,167 exposures||1 transmission per 8,334 exposures||1 transmission per 241 exposures||1 transmission per 3,030 exposures|
The numbers in this table are calculated based on the chance of transmission without protection and the 70% reduction in HIV transmission with condom use.
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All Exposures Are Not Equal
The results of several meta-analyses suggest that some types of sex carry on average a higher risk of HIV transmission than others. Below are estimates from meta-analyses that have combined the results of studies conducted in high-income countries. For types of sex where meta-analysis estimates do not exist, numbers from individual studies are provided.
A meta-analysis exploring the risk of HIV transmission through unprotected anal sex was published in 2010.1 The analysis, based on the results of four studies, estimated the risk through receptive anal sex to be 1.4%. This risk was similar regardless of whether the receptive partner was a man or woman.
No meta-analysis estimates currently exist for insertive anal sex but two individual studies were conducted to calculate this risk. The first, published in 1999, calculated the risk to be 0.06% .2 However, due to the design of the study, this number likely underestimated the risk of HIV transmission. The second study, published in 2010, was better designed and estimated the risk to be 0.11% for circumcised men and 0.62% for uncircumcised men.3
A meta-analysis of 10 studies exploring the risk of transmission through vaginal sex was published in 2009.4 It is estimated the risk of HIV transmission through receptive vaginal sex to be 0.08% .
A meta-analysis of three studies exploring the risk from insertive vaginal sex was estimated to be 0.04% .4
No 4 Having Vaginal Sex : 1 In 1250
Most women who get HIV are infected through vaginal sex. In such cases, an HIV-positive man transmits the virus to his female partner through preseminal fluid or ejaculate, which allows HIV to pass through the linings of the vagina and cervix.
- Reduce the risk. In theory, withdrawal practiced as a safety measure may help reduce a womans risk of contracting HIV from an HIV-positive partner, but because the virus can be found in preseminal fluids, the method may not be effective. Using condoms, however, can help lower the odds of transmitting HIV by 80 percent or more, according to the World Health Organization.
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Getting Pregnant When Both Parents Have Hiv
Seroconcordant couples , can have an HIV-negative child. If both partners are on treatment, the risk of either partner transmitting HIV to their baby is almost zero.
If you are a seroconcordant couple and you are thinking of becoming pregnant it is important to speak with an obstetrician and an HIV specialist to minimise the risk of transmitting HIV to your baby.
The Female Genital Tract And The Sexual Transmission Of Hiv
Worldwide, the main way that females get infected with HIV is through sex with males. In Canada, 79% of new HIV infections among females were attributable to heterosexual sex in 2014.1 However, not all sexual exposures to HIV actually lead to infection.2 On average, there is about a 1 in 1,200 chance of females getting HIV when exposed to the virus through vaginal sex.3 The female genital tract has innate protective defences that can trap, inactivate or fight HIV before it causes infection, so that most exposures do not result in infection.
For HIV to be transmitted sexually there needs to be an exposure to HIV that carries a risk of transmission. There are three necessary components for sexual transmission of HIV to occur: fluid, route and activity. First, there needs to be a bodily fluid from a person living with HIV that contains enough HIV to cause infection. Next, this fluid needs a route of entry into the body of an HIV-negative person. Finally, there needs to be an activity that brings the fluid and the route together. For example, vaginal sex is an activity that can bring a fluid such as semen or pre-ejaculate from an HIV-positive person into contact with the lining of the female genital tract, which HIV uses as a route for infection.
After the vagina and cervix of an HIV-negative person has been exposed to a fluid containing HIV, there are two important steps that HIV needs to take to cause an infection:
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No 6 Having Oral Sex: Negligible
The odds of contracting HIV during oral sex are slim to none. Thats because the virus isnt transmitted through saliva, tears, or sweat unless its also mixed with blood. If an HIV-positive man ejaculates in his partners mouth, however and, for example, the partner has an open sore or bleeding gums experts say that it might theoretically be possible to pass along the virus.
- Reduce the risk. Using a condom or dental dam can help lower the risk of transmitting not only HIV but other STDs, including syphilis, herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. People can also reduce their risk by having their HIV-positive partner ejaculate into a condom or by removing their mouth from the penis before ejaculation.
Managing Illness As A Parent
Although medical advances now allow people with HIV to live full, healthy lives, you may have times where you or your partner is unwell or needs medical care.
As with any longer-term illness, this can impact on your ability to earn an income, manage a household or raise children.
Living with chronic illness can be a challenge and sometimes families need extra support. Trying to sort things out on your own can make life seem overwhelming. Dont be afraid to ask for help from expert organisations that support people with HIV.
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What You Need To Know About The Links Between Hiv And Stds
Many people think that STDs are a harmless “fact of life.” Since most STDs can be cured, people think, “Doctors give you medicine and that’s the end of it, right?” Well, not quite! Having an STD can increase your chances of getting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Its Easy To Tell The Symptoms Of Hiv
The symptoms of HIV can differ from person-to-person and some people may not get any symptoms at all. Without treatment, the virus will get worse over time and damage your immune system over time. There are three stages of HIV infection with different possible effects.
Also, you also cant tell by looking at someone whether they have HIV or not. Many people don’t show signs of any symptoms. And, for people living with HIV who are on effective treatment, they are just as likely to be as healthy as everyone else.
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How To Prevent The Spread Of Hiv
People living with HIV can use the following to prevent transmitting it to others:
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis : This is a daily pill that contains two antivirals called tenofovir and emtricitabine. When a person takes it daily, PrEP can reduce the risk of acquiring HIV through sex by
- of a recent potential HIV exposure.
More On Safer Sex At Thebodycom
To find out more about safer sex, we recommend the following articles:
In addition, our Q& A experts sometimes address questions about sex with prostitutes in our “Ask the Experts” forums. Here are some of those questions and our experts’ responses:
- Fear of HIV risk from multiple sex with prostitutes “please help me. I am asking this second time”I foolishly had sex 7 times with 6 different prostitutes within six months. All the time I used condom. What is my HIV risk?
- STI risk from prostitute encounterI have had sexual encounters with street prostitutes last weekend and I am worried about the consequences. On both occasions I brought and used my own condom.
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Testing Positive For Hiv During Pregnancy
HIV testing of women in early pregnancy is now routine in Australia. Testing should be done with your consent and is offered during your first set of antenatal tests.
If you receive a positive test result, be reassured that many people with HIV live a full and active life. The risk of HIV transmission to your child is very low, given appropriate treatment.
Support is available through:
Estimated Hiv Transmission Risk Per Exposure
The estimates below should not be considered definitive but rather serve as a means to understand the relative risk of HIV by exposure type. The numbers are based on a meta-analysis of several large-scale studies which looked specifically at per-exposure risk.
|Mother-to-child, on ART with undetectable viral load||0.1%|
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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.
What Is Hiv And How Is It Transmitted
HIV is a virus that can weaken the immune system to the point that it is unable to control some infections.
HIV infection is not the same thing as AIDS. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection, when the immune system is at its weakest and a person has several specific illnesses.
AIDS is now very rare in Australia, as HIV treatments are highly effective at protecting the immune system from the virus.
Most people living with HIV in Australia can expect to live long, healthy lives without ever developing AIDS, if they are on effective treatment.
In Australia, HIV is commonly transmitted through:
- Anal or vaginal sex without the use of condoms.
- Having unprotected sex without using other prevention methods like PrEP or undetectable viral load or U=U .
- Sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment.
People who are HIV-positive and on treatment and have achieved and maintained an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV sexually.
For people who do not have HIV, regular use of condoms is the easiest way to prevent HIV.
For those at higher risk of HIV, PrEP is a medication that, when taken as prescribed, is up to 99% effective at preventing the virus.
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How Can To Help Stop The Spread Of Hiv
To lower the risk of getting HIV and other STIs:
- Those who are HIV-negative should consider PrEP. If a possible HIV exposure occurs, PEP may provide emergency protection.
- Use condoms during vaginal and anal sex.
- Get tested and treated for STIs and follow healthcare providers recommended screening schedule.
- Before having sex with someone, ask them to get tested for HIV and STIs.
- Those who inject drugs should get clean needles from a needle exchange.
- Avoid sharing needles for drugs and tattoos.
Talk to a healthcare provider about PrEP if a sexual partner has HIV with a detectable viral load or theres another known risk of contracting the virus. Heres a search tool for finding healthcare providers who prescribe PrEP.
Anyone who thinks they might have contracted HIV needs to get tested immediately. Early treatment can help manage the symptoms, lower the risk of complications, lower the risk of transmitting HIV to a sexual partner, and help people to live a long and healthy life.