Divergent views are held on the subject of how HIV can be transmitted from one person to the other; interestingly, many of these are simply myths, unfounded fables. The fact remains that HIV can be transmitted; this is undisputed by many, if not all. Nonetheless, the mediums by which this transmission occurs have been a subject of discussion around the world.
It is important to understand that HIV can be gotten through many forms of activities but the most recognized remains sexual intercourse. Sadly, this activity has passed HIV from millions of infected folks to uninfected people.
The various mediums through which HIV can be transmitted
Quite a number of bodily fluids from a person infected with HIV work as mediums through which the disease can be transmitted. The bodily fluids include the semen, blood, rectal fluids, seminal fluids, and breast milk. These fluids come in contact with the mucous membrane of the new person in order to complete the transmission process.
Some of the activities that can enhance the movement of these fluids from one person to another include:
Sharing syringes and other sharp objects
This is a common way that HIV is being transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected person. When a person who has HIV has been injected with a syringe, it is always advisable to dispose of it after usage because contact with any other person may just simply transmit the disease.
This is because HIV can survive in a syringe used by an infected person for about 42 days after use depending on the environmental factors of where it is kept.
Other sharp objects like razors and safety pins could also be a transmission medium which is the reason people are advised to engage strictly in the sole use of these objects.
Having unprotected sexual intercourse
Having sex with a person that is infected with HIV without the use of a condom puts one at the risk of getting infected with HIV via the fluids around the genitals. This happens to be the most common medium through which HIV is transmitted in America even with the continuous awareness advising people to use latex condoms during sexual intercourse.
Being born to an HIV infected mother
One may not be the source of his or her HIV status in most cases because it could occur at birth. This happens when a pregnant woman that is infected with HIV gives birth to an offspring of which the transmission happens at the point of birthing.
Be that as it may, a pregnant woman can have a child who is not one bit HIV positive with the right kind of medical care and adherence focusing on the use of prescribed drugs alongside practicing healthy living. When these are done, the chances of HIV transmission is reduced to the barest minimum or even totally eliminated.
Getting pierced with an HIV contaminated object
This occurs mainly among health workers, especially in the process of discharging their duties. They are of course conscious of this and when it occurs, immediate adequate steps are taken in order to prevent them from being infected with the virus.
By getting transfused with infected blood
This is a less common HIV transmission medium but remains a possibility, especially in countries where healthcare is not taken as a priority. Be that as it may, it is not common as a result of the advancement in medical sciences given that blood for this purpose is now perfectly screened to ascertain its status before transfusion is done.
How can one protect against the transmission of HIV?
It is possible to live an entire life without being a victim of HIV transmission if various kinds of preventive means are adhered to. Some of them include:
- The use of PrEP which stands for Pre Exposure Prophylaxis. It shields a person from being a victim of HIV transmission. When the usage of this drug is complied with, HIV can be effectively prevented even when unprotected sexual intercourse is engaged in with an infected person.
- The use of latex condoms during sexual intercourse is also a fine way to protect against the transmission of HIV.
- The sole or single use of syringes and other sharp objects in order to protect one’s self and others from HIV transmission.
- Regular visits to a healthcare giver in case any symptoms are noticed which could signal the presence of HIV.
- Using the recommended HIV treatments for women who are pregnant in order to avoid transmission to the baby.
Activities that cannot bring about HIV transmission
Some kinds of habits or practices cannot be a medium through which HIV can be transmitted. Many of them have been misconstrued to be a mode of transmission and these have instilled a great deal of fear in people. They are:
- Shaking hands, sharing of toilets and some kinds of social kissing with HIV infected person involved.
- Sleeping in the same room with an HIV infected person where mosquitoes fly around.
- Having contact with the sweat of an HIV patient, and many more.
HIV transmission follows some particular patterns as described above which makes it important for one to understand the circumstances that can occasion it.
While the world at large continues to await the cure, sound behavioral activities that can help prevent the transmission of HIV should be encouraged and practiced.