Can I Become Infected With Hiv If I Inject Drugs And Share The Needles With Someone Else Without Sterilizing The Needles
We strongly recommend that you use new equipment every time you inject. You can get new equipment from Counterpoint Needle & Syringe Program at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection.
There is a possibility of becoming infected with HIV if you share injecting equipment with someone who has the virus. If HIV infected blood remains inside the needle or in the syringe and someone else then uses it to inject themselves, that blood can be flushed into the bloodstream. Sharing needles, syringes, spoons, filters or water can pass on the virus. Disinfecting equipment between uses can reduce the likelihood of transmission, but does not eliminate it.
Estimating Risk By Exposure Type
The likelihood of transmitting HIV through oral sex depends largely on the type of contact involved. Putting aside all other risk factors, the potential for infection can vary based on whether the non-infected person is either performing or receiving oral sex.
Broadly speaking, the risk of HIV from oral sex can run anywhere from 0% to 1%, according to research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
However, numbers can change once you factor in specific sexual behaviors. Among them:
- Receptive fellatio, meaning that the non-infected person is performing oral sex on a male partner with HIV, is considered exceptionally low risk. Among men who have sex with men , the per-act risk hovers at around 0.04 percent.
- Insertive fellatio is even less likely given that the enzymes in saliva can neutralize the HIV viral particles.
- Cunnilingus has also proven to be a highly unlikely route.
- Anilingus is also regarded as being of negligible risk, particularly for the receptive partner.
While these figures suggest that the risk of HIV is low from a population perspective, that shouldn’t imply that it is inherently low from an individual perspective. Clearly, the more risk factors you have, the greater the risk of transmission will be.
Symptomatic Versus Asymptomatic Herpes Transmission
This table summarizes the chance of transmission of herpes when a person is symptomatic and when he or she is asymptomatic .
The table presents information about the overall chance of getting a herpes infection over time, with multiple contacts. Please notice that infected people pass the infection regardless of whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic.
The percentages mentioned bellow are general estimates and may vary from person to person based on immune system strength , skin condition , and race .
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How You Become Infected
There is HIV virus in body fluids like vaginal secretions and semen. If those fluids are present, they can enter the bloodstream of someone who doesn’t have HIV through an opening such as a mouth sore or a genital ulcer.
Your chances are higher of getting HIV if you:
- Have sores in your mouth, vagina, or penis
- Have another sexually transmitted disease
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.
- Self-reported data on sexual behaviour are hard to collect accurately, with participants failing to report condomless anal or vaginal sex they have had.
- 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.
- Studies have frequently grouped all oral sex practices together, often not distinguishing receptive from insertive roles, whether ejaculation occurred in the mouth, etc.
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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What Is The Risk Of Hiv From Anal Sex
The risk of HIV through unprotected anal intercourse is seen to be extremely high, as much 18 times greater than vaginal intercourse. The reasons for the increased risk are well known and include such factors as:
- The fragility of rectal tissues, which allow the virus direct access into the bloodstream through tiny tears or abrasions
- The porousness of rectal tissues, providing access even when undamaged
- The high concentration of HIV in semen and pre-seminal fluid , which doubles the risk of infection with every one-log rise in the person’s viral load.
Furthermore, the secretion of blood from damaged rectal tissues can increase the risk for the insertive partner, providing the virus a route of transmission through the urethra and tissues that line the head of the penis .
Chances Of Std From Oral
Its not a cookie cutter response of your chances of contracting STD through oral sex. Thats because the answer varies by the type of STD youre talking about and other factors that impact STD oral sex risk.
You reduce your chance of STD from oral if you use a condom or dental dam, or similar barrier method, when you have oral sex. Unprotected oral sex brings a risk of STD transmission every time, even just from one encounter.
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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.
Your Odds Of Getting Hiv
âWhat are my odds of getting an infection?â This is the most common question we hear in our practice.
In this chapter, we summarize HIV statistics to answer that and many other related questions about HIV transmission:
- What is the chance of HIV transmission with one-time sexual contact versus multiple contacts?
- What is the chance of HIV transmission with different type of sexual activities ?
- What is the chance of contracting HIV with and without protection?
Statistics are one of the most important aspects of medicine, and doctors rely heavily on them for early diagnosis and treatment. They tell doctors how common a condition is in general, how easy it is to get a particular infection with one-time sexual contact versus multiple contacts, the likelihood of contracting the infection from different kinds of contact, and other things.
In the first section, we show you tables with important and interesting statistics. The tables are followed by frequently asked questions answered by an expert doctor.
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Can Hiv Be Transmitted Through Oral Sex
Yes, but the risk is relatively low.
HIV is transmitted through seminal and vaginal fluids, including menstrual fluids. The virus can enter the body through the bloodstream or by passing through delicate mucous membranes, such as inside the vagina, rectum or urethra.
If a person gives fellatio and has bleeding gums, a cut, or an ulcer inside their mouth, HIV could enter their bloodstream through infected fluid. This could also happen if infected fluid from a woman gets into the mouth of her partner during oral sex.
Using a condom during sex, including oral and anal sex, is the best way to prevent sexually transmitted infections , including HIV. Avoid using an oil-based lubricant, such as Vaseline or baby oil, because they can weaken the condom and increase the risk of it splitting.
You can use a dental dam to cover the anus or female genitals during oral sex. A dental dam is a latex or polyurethane square, measuring about 15cm by 15cm. It acts as a barrier to help stop STIs passing from one person to another.
Putting A Number On It: The Risk From An Exposure To Hiv
This information was provided by CATIE . For more information, contact CATIE at 1-800-263-1638.
Author: James Wilton
Service providers working in HIV prevention are often asked by their patients and clients about the risk of HIV transmission from an exposure to HIV through sex. What do the latest studies tell us about this risk? And how should we interpret and communicate the results?
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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.
Chances Of Getting An Std: Separating Myths From Facts
Sexually transmitted diseases are diseases that result from sexually transmitted infections . The terms are often used interchangeably, but technically speaking, the virus or condition that is spread from person to person is typically an STI. If the infection leads to symptoms, which doesnt always happen, it becomes an STD.
Although STIs are fairly common and widely discussed, theres also a lot of misinformation out there. Because of that, it can be hard to get the real facts about STIs. This article provides clear answers about the chances of getting an STD from different types of sexual encounters.
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Studies On The Risks Of Oral Sex
Oral sex is a low-risk activity for HIV. Factors that increase the risk of HIV transmission through oral sex include having bleeding gums, mouth ulcers, gum disease, genital sores, and other sexually transmitted infections. Several reports suggest that people have acquired HIV through oral sexual activity in rare instances. A number of studies have tried to figure out the exact level of risk of oral sex, but it can be difficult to get accurate information. When HIV is spread, it is difficult to tell if it was the oral sex or another, more risky sexual activity that was responsible for transmitting HIV.
The take home message is that oral sex may, under certain circumstances, carry a small but real risk of HIV transmission.
Is Unprotected Anal Intercourse More Of An Hiv Risk Than Vaginal Or Oral Sex
Unprotected anal intercourse does carry a higher risk than most other forms of sexual activity. The lining of the rectum has fewer cells than that of the vagina, and therefore can be damaged more easily, causing bleeding during intercourse. This can then be a route into the bloodstream for infected sexual fluids or blood. There is also a risk to the insertive partner during anal intercourse, though this is lower than the risk to the receptive partner.
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How Can You Avoid Transmitting Hiv To A Partner
For a person living with HIV, the best way to prevent transmitting it to others is by taking antiretroviral therapy . The medicine reduces the amount of HIV particles in the blood to the point that a test can’t detect it anymore, which is known as having an undetectable viral load. ART prevents HIV from multiplying and makes it a more manageable condition.
“Someone with HIV who takes their medications and is virologically suppressed won’t transmit HIV to sexual partners,” says Neilan. It is possible to get the virus under control within six months. With proper treatment, people living with HIV can live long and healthy lives.
There are plenty of FDA-approved antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV, says Neilan. Some of the most common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue, but it varies for each individual. Here are the types of HIV medicines that reduce viral load:
Individuals with HIV are prescribed multi-class drug combinations that require them to take more than one drug. Other types of HIV medicines do not inhibit certain enzymes and instead, interfere with the virus’ ability to infect immune system cells.
No 1 Sharing A Needle: 1 In 159
About 6 percent of the HIV diagnoses in 2015 can be attributed to the use of injection drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The reason is that needles, syringes, and other equipment can contain blood, and therefore HIV, which can then be directly transmitted into the bloodstream. Under the right environmental circumstances, the virus can survive in a used needle for up to 42 days, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, using drugs can lower peoples inhibitions, making them less likely to use a condom during sex or to take preventive HIV medications, further increasing their risk.
- Reduce the risk. Although the number of HIV diagnoses among people who inject drugs has declined by 48 percent from 2008 to 2014, according to the CDC, experts worry that the rising opioid epidemic is putting new people at risk for getting the virus. To find substance abuse help, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or visit its website, findtreatment.samhsa.gov, for a list of treatment facilities near you.
- Reduce the risk. People who inject drugs can help lower their risk of exposure to HIV by using a sterile needle and syringe for each injection sterile needles can be obtained without a prescription at pharmacies and through syringe services programs at state or local health departments.
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Risk Factors In Women
The risk of HIV from unprotected vaginal sex is higher among women for a number of reasons. From a physiological standpoint, the tissues of the vagina are far more susceptible to HIV than those of the penis.
HIV is able to pass through these tissues when the immune system recognizes the invading virus and send defensive cells to “grab and drag” them through the lining to be destroyed.
Instead, HIV turns the table and attacks the very cells meant to help neutralize them. By doing so, the body helps facilitate its own infection. And, because the surface area of the vaginal epithelium is far greater than that of the male urethra, the opportunity for infection is increased, often exponentially.
Other physiological vulnerabilities include:
While the daily use of an HIV drug called pre-exposure prophylaxis can dramatically decrease the risk of HIV in an uninfected partner, there is evidence that works less well in women. Research published in 2016 suggests the level of the active drug molecule in vaginal tissue isn’t near as high as in rectal tissue.
None of this, of course, takes into account any of the social vulnerabilities that can place women at increased risk. These include sexual violence in relationships which not only steals a woman’s chance for self-protection but can result in damage to delicate vaginal tissue.
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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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.