It is important to note that HIV is a very fragile virus which will die quickly when exposed to light and air.
Exposure to small amounts of dried blood or other infectious fluids is not a realistic risk for HIV transmission. It is not enough to be in contact with an infected fluid for HIV to be transmitted. Healthy, intact skin does not allow HIV to get into the body. HIV can enter through an open cut or sore, or through contact with mucous membranes. Transmission risk is very high when HIV comes in contact with the more porous mucous membranes in the genitals, the anus, and the rectum which are inefficient barriers to HIV.
Although very rare, transmission is also possible through oral sex because body fluids can enter the bloodstream through cuts in the mouth. HIV can be transmitted from an infected person to another through the following infectious fluids:.
HIV can enter the body through open cuts or sores and by directly infecting cells in mucous membranes. HIV cannot cross healthy, unbroken skin. Unprotected sexual intercourse oral, vaginal, and anal , sharing needles for injection drug use, and mother to child transmission in utero, during delivery, and breastfeeding are the main transmission routes for the HIV virus. Sexual activity is the most common way HIV is transmitted. HIV can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, both vaginal and anal.
HIV can easily pass through the mucus membranes in the genitals and the rectum, or may pass through cuts and sores. Although very rare, HIV can also be transmitted through oral sex. Conditions such as bleeding gums and poor oral health increase the risk of transmission through oral sex.
Anal sex without a condom is the riskiest sexual activity for HIV transmission. The receptive partner is at the greatest risk because anal tissue is easily bruised or torn during sex which then provides easy access to the bloodstream for HIV carried in semen. The insertive partner is also at some risk because the membranes inside the urethra can provide entry for HIV into the bloodstream. The presence of other sexually transmitted infections can increase the risk of HIV transmission during anal sex.
Untreated HIV can lead to AIDS, which occurs when the immune system is so weak it becomes susceptible to serious infections and some. Telling a person that there is, for example, a one in chance of infection could, conceivably, lead the person AIDS 16(9): ,
Unprotected vaginal sex is also considered risky for HIV transmission. The receptive partner is at the greatest risk because the lining of the vagina is a mucous membrane which can provide easy access to the bloodstream for HIV carried in semen. The insertive is also at some risk because the membranes inside the urethra can provide an entry for HIV into the bloodstream.
The presence of other sexually transmitted infections can increase the risk of HIV transmission during vaginal sex. The risk of HIV transmission through oral sex with a man is very low because the mouth is an unfriendly environment for HIV. A person receiving oral sex is generally not at risk because that person is coming into contact only with saliva, which does not transmit HIV. However, the presence of other sexually transmitted infections can increase the risk of HIV transmission during oral sex.
The minimal risk of transmission from oral sex with a man is only for the person performing the oral sex. Open cuts and abrasions in the mouth or bleeding gums can create an entry point for HIV and increase the risk of transmission. Learn how to reduce your risk of HIV transmission during oral sex with a man. There are a few documented cases where it appears that HIV was transmitted orally and those cases are attributed to ejaculation into the mouth.
Saliva contains enzymes that break down the virus and the mucous membranes in the mouth are more protective than anal or vaginal tissue. The risk of transmission through oral sex with a woman is very low because the mouth is an unfriendly environment for HIV. Treatment should be started as early as possible as this has been shown to result in better health outcomes and dramatically reduces the risk of passing on HIV.
When someone is diagnosed with a HIV infection, it is important that other people who may also be at risk, such as sexual partners, are informed that they should be tested urgently for HIV infection. Doctors and nurses can help by informing sexual partners anonymously.
It is important to commence PEP as soon as possible after the exposure, and PEP must be started within 72 hours 3 days. PEP drugs often have side effects and they are not suitable for everyone. If your exposure was more than three days ago, you should consult your doctor or a sexual health clinic about being tested for HIV.
HIV is diagnosed by a blood test. One type of test detects antibodies to the virus, while another type looks for the virus itself.
It currently takes between days before blood will show a positive test result after a new HIV infection the window period , and may take longer. This means that if after a recent exposure more than one blood test may be needed over time to rule out a new infection. Treatment with antiretroviral drugs is very effective at preventing damage to the immune system caused by HIV. Successful treatment greatly reduces the amount of virus in the person's blood and other bodily fluids which prevents spread of the virus to other people. This means that doctors and laboratory staff are legally required to provide some information about people diagnosed with HIV infection to NSW Health.
The information collected is confidential and does not include the names and addresses of people diagnosed with HIV.
Public health staff use these data to understand who is at risk of the disease in order to plan activities to prevent new infections in the future and to provide services for people living with HIV. A to Z Feedback Contact us Emergency information. Last updated: 26 October What is HIV?
What are the symptoms of HIV infection? How is HIV spread? HIV is in the blood, semen, vaginal fluid or breast milk of an infected person and can be transmitted: during anal or vaginal sex without the protection of a condom by sharing drug injecting equipment contaminated needles, syringes and other injecting equipment and drug solutions by unsafe injections, tattoos and other procedures that involve unsterile cutting or piercing to a baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding.
Who is at risk of getting infected with HIV? In Australia, people at the highest risk of getting HIV infection are: men who have sex with men people who have sex with people from countries with a high rate of HIV infection people who inject drugs people who had tattoos or other piercings overseas using unsterile equipment people who have sex with a person with a high risk of HIV as listed here.
HIV can enter through an open cut or sore, or through contact with mucous membranes. In Australia, people at the highest risk of getting HIV infection are: men who have sex with men people who have sex with people from countries with a high rate of HIV infection people who inject drugs people who had tattoos or other piercings overseas using unsterile equipment people who have sex with a person with a high risk of HIV as listed here. To find out where you can get free, anonymous HIV testing with same day results near you, call The figures are drawn from the most useful cohort studies and meta-analyses which pool the data from as many studies as possible. Unfortunately, false-negative test results can happen too, so if your partner gets negative results and yours came back positive, it is wise to be cautious and have your partner retested. The virulence of the particular strain of HIV. The per-exposure measure of risk may cause activities to seem less risky.
How is HIV prevented?