Gone are the days when people were so disturbed about being infected with HIV whenever they stay close to the carriers of the disease. People now get less worried because of the awareness on the subject of HIV as a result of civilization which increases without bounds. Be that as it may, some still live with the notion that HIV could be contracted differently and infected people ought to be isolated.
It is important to say that HIV does not spread the same way like flu or cold, rather, it is more difficult to transmit to an uninfected person. This article would expose the measures through which an uninfected person can get HIV from an infected person and other mediums of transmission.
The mediums through which one can get HIV
Both partners can be infected during vaginal sex if one of them is infected with the virus. A woman can become HIV positive via the tissues which line her cervix and vagina and in reverse, the virus can get into the man during sexual intercourse because the tip of the penis would be opened at that moment. Apart from this medium, a sore or the smallest cut on the penis could also be an avenue for the transmission of the disease to the man. These are part of the reasons usage of condoms is recommended which serves as a shield between the delicate organs of both partners, thereby, protecting them from contracting the disease.
This is another sure way to get HIV as both men and women have the tendency of being victims. It is riskier than vaginal sex because even when condoms are used, the tendency of it being broken in the process is very high, thereby, putting them at severe risk if one of them is infected with HIV.
Unlike anal sex, the tendency of getting HIV through this means is very low. Be that as it may, it can happen because the sexual partner who ends up with vaginal fluids or semen in their mouth stands at a very high risk of being infected. Also, an infected person with a cut on the vagina or penis, as the case may be, would pass the infection because of the fluids which would be transmitted by licking or sucking the partner’s genitals – especially if there is a cut or sore inside the mouth too.
Sharing of needles and other sharp objects
Supplies for injection like needles could be a medium through which HIV is carried when it is used first, by an infected person. This is the reason medical workers dispose of syringes after one usage because a subsequent user would be at a very high risk of contracting not only HIV but any other infection which the first user may be suffering from. Also, getting a tattoo requires the use of sharp objects and when adequate medical precautionary measures are not taken, they may lead to complications or contraction of HIV from an infected person.
It is possible to get HIV through this means but practically, especially in the U.S, there is a little risk because adequate testing is done to make sure the supplies from the blood bank are HIV free before they are used for any purpose.
From an infected mother
The virus can be passed from a pregnant woman who is HIV positive to her baby in the womb during birth. Be that as it may, women who take precautionary measures during their pregnancy can help prevent their babies from being infected. This may be achieved by taking anti-HIV drugs during pregnancy and childbirth to help lower the tendency of transmission. It is important to also add that the transmission may occur not only during pregnancy and birth but after birth, via breastfeeding, especially at the earliest months. For these reasons, HIV infected mothers have been often advised to bottle-feed their babies rather than breastfeed them to reduce the risk.
It is necessary to say at this time that a whole lot of mediums exist, through which HIV cannot be transmitted and they include:
- Cyber or phone sex
- Living with an HIV infected person
- Sleeping in the same bed or room with an infected person
- Dry kissing, etc.
Protecting one’s self from getting HIV
This is necessary and can be achieved by doing the following:
- Abstinence from sexual activities
- Practicing safe sex, like the use of condoms
- Going for regular tests to ascertain one’s status
- Avoiding common use of sharp objects and many more similar precautions
It is important to note and conclude that even if one is infected with the virus, it can be effectively managed with the use of multiple antiretroviral drugs to control the HIV infection.