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 .
How Is Hiv Passed Through Needles And Other Drug Use Or Body Work Equipment
HIV can be passed through blood that remains in used needles or other drug injection equipment, even if the amount of blood is so small it cant be seen. When a used needle containing blood with HIV breaks the skin of another person, HIV can get directly into their bloodstream. Once inside the bloodstream it can then cause a permanent infection. In the same way, HIV can be passed on by reusing unsterilized equipment for tattooing or piercing and through accidental needlestick injuries.
Sharing needles or other equipment used to inject drugs is the most common way that HIV is transmitted through broken skin. When a person injects drugs, blood can get into the needle/syringe or on other equipment they are using to inject or prepare their drugs. When someone uses a needle/syringe that has already been used by another person, there is a possibility that blood containing HIV is present. When a person prepares and injects drugs using shared equipment, blood that may contain HIV can directly enter their bloodstream through the broken skin. This is an efficient mode of transmission because the immune cells are the only natural defence against this type of HIV transmission. A larger amount of residual blood in the needle/syringe or other equipment and a higher amount of HIV in the blood can both increase the risk of injection-related HIV transmission.
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Twin Falls A Twin Falls Man Is Accused Of Knowingly Spreading Fluids That May Have Contained Hiv During Sexual Encounters
TWIN FALLS A Twin Falls man is accused of knowingly spreading fluids that may have contained HIV during sexual encounters.
Bryan Thieme, 37, was charged June 15 with transferring bodily fluids which may contain HIV, according to a statement from the Twin Falls Police Department.
Police said Thieme had consensual, unprotected sex with at least two different men in May. They believe there may be more victims and are encouraging any other possible victims to contact Detective Ken Rivers.
A person found guilty of knowingly transferring bodily fluids that may contain HIV can face up to 15 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine under Idaho law.
Its hard to say what the public health risk is in a case like this without knowing more about an accused persons diagnosis and treatment, said Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokeswoman Niki Forbing-Orr.
If he was receiving treatment, then the risk to the public would have been very low, but if he was not being treated, then it would be much higher, Forbing-Orr said.
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Impossible Routes Of Hiv Transmission
HIV transmission through the following activities is biologically implausible and there have been no documented cases.
There is no risk of HIV being passed on through: coughing, sneezing or spitting kissing, hugging or shaking hands sharing cutlery, plates or cups breathing the same air using the same lavatory mosquito or animal bites.
How Hiv Is Transmitted
HIV is a virus that can be transmitted by exposure to certain types of bodily fluids. If fluids containing HIV get into the body through openings in the skin or through contact with mucosal surfaces , they can lead to infection.
Bodily fluids that can contain enough HIV to transmit the virus include:
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How Is Hiv Passed Through Sex
HIV can be passed during sex in a sexual fluid or blood, if present. For transmission to occur, one of these fluids, containing enough HIV, must come in contact with a mucous membrane of an HIV-negative person, such as the opening of the penis, the foreskin, the vagina, the cervix or the rectum. When this happens, the virus must overcome the bodys natural defences before it can establish a permanent infection.
There are many natural defences that can stop HIV transmission from occurring. The mucous membranes are made up of epithelial cells that are tightly joined together, providing a partially protective barrier against HIV and other germs. This epithelial cell layer can be a single layer or it can be multiple layers thick . The more epithelial cell layers there are, the more difficult it is for HIV to cross into the body. HIV can pass through the cell layer on its own, but damage to the mucous membrane can make it easier for HIV to enter the body. Additionally, mucus that covers and moistens the mucous membrane can trap HIV and help prevent it from crossing the epithelial cell layer. Finally, if HIV crosses the epithelial cell layer, the body’s immune cells will fight the virus and try to clear it from the body.
Its important to note that when a highly effective HIV prevention strategy is used consistently and correctly, the risk for sexual HIV transmission ranges from zero to very low.
Hiv Transmission Between Females
There is very little data suggesting that HIV can be transmitted between females who are having sex with other females . While both menstrual blood and vaginal secretions can contain HIV, reported transmissions between females during sexual activity are extremely rare.
However, women who have sex with women may have other risk factors for HIV. Women who have sex with women may also have sex with men, use injection drugs, or exchange sex for drugs or money.
These activities are as risky for women who have sex with women as they are for women who do not. Therefore, it is important to engage in appropriate HIV-prevention behaviors such as safe sex and not sharing needles.
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The Lowdown On Dental Dams
Dental dams are barriers used to prevent the transmission of viruses during oral sex. Placing this latex barrier between your mouth and your partners genitals can help to prevent STIs. Dental dams can be used for both cunnilingus and rimming .
Dental dams can be purchased. They can also be made from condoms and gloves. Its very easy to make a dental dam from a latex or polyisoprene condom. Just cut the tip off the condom and then cut down one side. Now you have a dental dam ready to use.
Can You Catch Hiv From Kissing
No. Evidence shows that the HIV virus is spread through the exchange of bodily fluids such as blood, semen and vaginal fluids, but not saliva.
Although HIV can be detected in saliva, it can’t be passed to other people through kissing because a combination of antibodies and enzymes found naturally in saliva prevent HIV infecting new cells.
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Inherent Vulnerabilities Also Exist
Unfortunately, we know that HIV can sometimes overcome the protective defences of the female genital tract. On average, the risk of HIV transmission through vaginal sex may be about two times higher for females than for males.3 There are several inherent biological factors that may explain an increased vulnerability to HIV infection in the female genital tract, including physical characteristics and the immune system.
First, the vagina and ectocervix have a much larger surface area than the foreskin and urethra, where HIV transmission can occur in the male genital tract. With a larger surface area there is a higher likelihood that HIV can find a way to cross the epithelial cell layer and cause infection.6,8
In addition, the female genital tract may be exposed to a greater volume of HIV-infected fluid compared to the penis. This fluid can remain in prolonged contact with the female genital tract after ejaculation. Prolonged contact with this greater volume of HIV-infected fluid can increase the chances of HIV finding a way across the vaginal or cervical epithelial lining and causing infection.
Finally, although the immune system is meant to protect the body from infection, the immune cells located in the female genital tract may also play a role in increasing vulnerability to HIV infection, because HIV can attack immune cells in the vaginal mucous and epithelial lining.8,9
How Can You Reduce Your Risk Of Exposure To Blood And Body Fluids
Blood and body fluid precautions involve the use of protective barriers such as gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection. These reduce the risk of exposing the skin or mucous membranes to potentially infectious fluids. Health care workers should always use protective barriers to protect themselves from exposure to another person’s blood or body fluids.
- Gloves protect you whenever you touch blood body fluids mucous membranes or broken, burned, or scraped skin. The use of gloves also decreases the risk of disease transmission if you are pricked with a needle.
- Always wear gloves for handling items or surfaces soiled with blood or body fluids.
- Wear gloves if you have scraped, cut, or chapped skin on your hands.
- Change your gloves after each use.
- Wash your hands immediately after removing your gloves.
- Wash your hands and other skin surfaces immediately after they come in contact with blood or body fluids.
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Implications For Hiv Prevention In Women
It is important for service providers who work with women to understand the biology of HIV transmission in females so that they can communicate this information to women while providing appropriate prevention counselling.
There are several key messages that can be given to female clients about the risk of HIV transmission through vaginal sex:
- A healthy female genital tract has protective defences that can fight HIV infection however, it also has biological vulnerabilities that contribute to a greater risk of HIV infection compared to men.
- Inflammation in the female genital tract is associated with an increased risk of HIV infection. Inflammation can be caused by STIs, vaginal conditions, friction during sex, and cleansing practices , among other things.
- STIs and other vaginal conditions may increase risk, even if they are not symptomatic. Women should be tested for STIs regularly and treated if necessary.
- Women with diverse needs and preferences have prevention options available to them for reducing their risk of getting HIV, including methods they can initiate themselves and those that require greater partner involvement.
- Women in a serodiscordant relationship who want to conceive have several options for preventing HIV transmission within the relationship, and should seek expert medical advice to review these options.
When counselling women about their risk for HIV transmission through vaginal sex and their prevention options:
Revised June 2018
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. Taking HIV medicine daily as prescribed can make the viral load very lowso low that a test cant detect it .
People with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.
HIV medicine is a powerful tool for preventing sexual transmission of HIV. But it works only as long as 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 every day as prescribed and visit their healthcare provider regularly to get a viral load test. Learn more.
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Do Condoms Stop Hiv Being Passed On
Yes.Using a condom correctly prevents contact with semen or vaginal secretions , stopping HIV from being passed on. The virus cannot pass through the latex of the condom.
Condoms should only be used with a water-based lubricant as oil-based lube weakens them.
People with HIV who are on effective treatment and have an undetectable viral load cannot pass on HIV through any of their body fluids.
Its also important to remember that if you have sex without a condom other sexually transmitted infections can be passed on.
Sex without a condom can also result in pregnancy if other contraception is not being used.
How Hiv Can Spread
The most common ways people contract HIV in the United States are through sharing equipment when injecting drugs and having anal or vaginal sex without barrier contraceptives. Anal sex poses a higher risk than vaginal sex, as there is a greater chance of tissue damage.
Although it is less common, HIV may pass to an infant during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.
In extremely rare cases, HIV may spread if blood comes into contact with an open wound. There is a chance of this occurring if partners engage in open-mouth kissing, and both have bleeding gums or open sores within the mouth.
However, saliva that does not contain blood cannot transmit HIV. People cannot get HIV from closed-mouth or cheek kissing.
People can reduce or eliminate the chance of contracting HIV by using barrier contraceptives or taking preventive HIV therapy, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis .
PrEP is a pill that a person can take once a day to minimize the chance of contracting HIV. It may be helpful for those who:
- have a partner with HIV
- have a partner with an unknown HIV status
- have multiple partners
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How Can I Safely Clean A Spill Or A Wound
When cleaning spills, wear clean, disposable gloves and always use absorbent material, such as paper towels, first. Then clean the area of the spill more thoroughly with soap and water, and then disinfect it with household bleach. A fresh solution of bleach should be used for disinfecting and can be prepared by mixing 1 part of bleach to 9 parts of water. The bleach solution should be left in contact with the spill area for at least 10 minutes before wiping it up.
Wear gloves when handling any body fluids or cleaning cuts, scrapes or wounds. Wash your hands carefully after disposing of your gloves in a plastic bag. Add gloves to your first aid kit so you are prepared.
What Happens Once Hiv Gets Into The Body
Once HIV gets into the body, it needs to infect immune cells and make copies of itself to cause a permanent infection.
HIV cannot replicate on its own it needs to take over cells within the body to replicate. To do this it targets specific immune cells called CD4 T cells as well as other immune cells. HIV enters and takes control of the cell and starts to replicate. New copies of the virus are released into the blood that can then infect more immune cells.
If the virus can replicate for one to three days without being stopped, it can then spread to other parts of the body and establish a permanent infection. The bodys immune system defences are sometimes able to defeat HIV before it spreads and causes a permanent infection. Taking pre-exposure prophylaxis or post-exposure prophylaxis can also stop HIV from replicating and being able to establish a permanent infection.
About two-thirds of people newly infected with HIV experience symptoms of acute infection such as fever, chills, a rash, muscle aches, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, night sweats and mouth ulcers, which may last from a few days to a few weeks.
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What Should I Do If I Need To Clean Up Blood
HIV does not usually survive long outside of the body, but contact with blood should be avoided.
To clean up blood that has been spilled, wear rubber gloves and mop up the liquid using bleach and warm water . Use warm, soapy water to clean away blood spilled on someones body.
Put the waste, used gloves and bloodied clothes in a plastic bag, seal and throw away.
Diagnosis Of Hiv Infection
Tests to detect antibodies to the HIV virus in a sample of blood or saliva
Tests to detect HIV RNA in a sample of blood
Early diagnosis of HIV infection is important because it makes early treatment possible. Early treatment enables infected people to live longer, be healthier, and be less likely to transmit HIV to other people.
Doctors usually ask about risk factors for HIV infection Transmission of HIV Infection Human immunodeficiency virus infection is a viral infection that progressively destroys certain white blood cells and can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome . HIV is transmitted… read more and about symptoms .
Doctors also do a complete physical examination to check for signs of opportunistic infections, such as swollen lymph nodes and white patches inside the mouth , and for signs of Kaposi sarcoma of the skin or mouth.
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