The reason behind HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus. This virus can be transmitted through:
- mother-to-child during pregnancy
How Does HIV Turn Into AIDS?
It’s important to realize that HIV and AIDS are not the same thing. HIV progresses to AIDS within an elongated time period without anti-retroviral therapy. This occurs when the virus kills CD4 Tcells. These are white blood cells responsible for repelling pathogens and preventing diseases. To put it frankly, the lower your CD4 T cell count is, the greater the risk of infections and diseases. This is because of a weakened immune system.
The reality is that you can be HIV-positive for years without progressing to AIDS. AIDS can be diagnosed with a patient’s CD4 T cell count under 200 or the case of an AIDS-specific complication.
To contract HIV, a sort of infected bodily fluid needs to permeate your blood. Such as:
- vaginal discharge
This can happen in a number of ways:
Sexual Action: Transmission is possible through anal, vaginal, or oral sex with an HIV-positive spouse. This can happen if their semen, blood, or vaginal discharge makes its way into your body. This occurs via open sores or rips in the genitals.
Blood Transfers: There have been instances where individuals contracted the virus through blood transfusions before. However, this is currently a minimal risk. Currently, all hospitals and blood donation centers in developed countries diligently screen contributions for HIV today.
Sharing Hypodermics: Sharing infected intravenous drug equipment such as needles increases the risk of HIV transmission in addition to some other infections like hepatitis.
Pregnancy/Birth/Breastfeeding: Women that are HIV-positive can transmit the virus to their babies during pregnancy, birth, and while nursing. However, mothers with HIV that are on therapy while pregnant have a far lower risk of passing the virus on their infants.
How You Cannot Contract HIV
HIV doesn’t spread through routine physical contact, meaning you can’t get HIV by shaking hands, hugging, or kissing a person who’s HIV-positive. HIV also can’t be transmitted through air, water, or insect bites.
Understanding Your Risks
When HIV/AIDS first emerged in america, it largely spread among gay men, but it’s been made abundantly clear since then that heterosexual people may also contract HIV.
Individuals of all ages, genders, ethnic backgrounds, and sexual orientations are at a risk of contracting the virus. However, your risk of transmission is much higher if:
- You participate in sexual activities without caution. It’s crucial to use a new condom every time you have sex. Anal sex poses a greater risk than vaginal sex, and with numerous sexual partners increases the risk of HIV.
- you have a sexually transmitted disease because most STDs are proven to result in open sores in the genitals, making the transmission of HIV easier.
- you’re an intravenous drug user who shares gear, particularly needles. Sharing needles put you at risk of creating contact with others ’s blood, which might be infected.
- you’re uncircumcised as a plethora of studies demonstrate that not being circumcised puts heterosexual guys at a greater risk of HIV.
Ways to Protect Against HIV
While there’s absolutely no vaccination for HIV prevention, and HIV/AIDS is incurable, there are security measures one can take to be certain that you avoid getting infected with the virus.
- Constantly having protected sex with a new condom during each experience.
- Consulting your physician about the new medication PrEP which, although not 100% successful, significantly lowers the risk of transmission.
- Be honest about your HIV status to prevent the spread of this virus
- Avoid sharing needles with other people, and in the event you have to do intravenous drugs, use a new needle each time.
- if you’re HIV-positive and pregnant, consult with a doctor to go on therapy to reduce your risk of passing the virus on your baby.
- Consider circumcision because it may lower the risk of HIV transmission among men.