SPMD - Part III
   
 
  Welcomes You
  => About HIV
  => Part II
  => Part III
  => Part IV
  => Page V
  => Page VI
  Contact
  Guestbook
  donate
  photo gallery
How is HIV Transmitted?

HIV can be transmitted from an infected person to another through:

* Blood (including menstrual blood)
* Semen
* Vaginal secretions
* Breast milk

Blood contains the highest concentration of the virus, followed by semen, followed by vaginal fluids, followed by breast milk.

* Activities That Allow HIV Transmission

* Unprotected sexual contact
* Direct blood contact, including injection drug needles, blood transfusions, accidents in health care settings or certain blood products
* Mother to baby (before or during birth, or through breast milk)

Sexual intercourse (vaginal and anal): In the genitals and the rectum, HIV may infect the mucous membranes directly or enter through cuts and sores caused during intercourse (many of which would be unnoticed). Vaginal and anal intercourse is a high-risk practice.

Oral sex (mouth-penis, mouth-vagina) : The mouth is an inhospitable environment for HIV (in semen, vaginal fluid or blood), meaning the risk of HIV transmission through the throat, gums, and oral membranes is lower than through vaginal or anal membranes. There are however, documented cases where HIV was transmitted orally, so we can't say that getting HIV-infected semen, vaginal fluid or blood in the mouth is without risk. However, oral sex is considered a low risk practice.

Sharing injection needles: An injection needle can pass blood directly from one person's bloodstream to another. It is a very efficient way to transmit a blood-borne virus. Sharing needles is considered a high-risk practice.

Mother to Child: It is possible for an HIV-infected mother to pass the virus directly before or during birth, or through breast milk. Breast milk contains HIV, and while small amounts of breast milk do not pose significant threat of infection to adults, it is a viable means of transmission to infants.

The following "bodily fluids" are NOT infectious:

* Saliva
* Tears
* Sweat
* Feces
* Urine

(Source: San Francisco AIDS Foundation)

Can I get HIV from oral sex?

There is considerable debate within the HIV/AIDS prevention community regarding the risk of transmission of HIV through oral sex. What is currently known is that there is some risk associated with performing oral sex without protection; (there have been a few documented cases of HIV transmission through oral sex). While no one knows exactly what that risk is, cumulative evidence indicates that the risk is less than that of unprotected anal or vaginal sex. The risk from receiving oral sex, for both a man and a woman, is considered to be very low.

Currently, risk reduction options when performing oral sex on a man (fellatio) include the use of latex condoms, but also include withdrawal before ejaculation without a condom (avoiding semen in the mouth) and/or refraining from this activity when cuts or sores are present in the mouth.

When performing oral sex on a woman (cunnilingus) , moisture barriers such as a dam (sheet of latex), a cut-open and flattened condom, or household plastic wrap can reduce the risk of exposure to vaginal secretions and/or blood.

If you have other questions about oral sex and HIV, call the CDC National AIDS Hotline at 1-800-342-2437 (English), 1-800-344-7432 (Spanish), or 1-800-243-7889 (TTY). (Source: Centers for Disease Control - CDC)

<< Back                                                                                                     Next >>
Today, there have been 1 visitors (6 hits) on this page!
=> Do you also want a homepage for free? Then click here! <=