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ACWN
Symbol of HIV and AIDS Awareness
Can I get it ?


You cannot get HIV from . . .


To transmit HIV:




Sex

You can get HIV from unprotected anal, vaginal, or oral sex. About two thirds of people with HIV acquired HIV from sexual intercourse with an infected partner.

There are, however, many different ways to have sex and not all of them are as risky as others. The body is a long complex field of pleasure zones. Create new sensations!! Dominate with a tickle. Soothe with a massage. To ensure little or no risk of contracting HIV don't exchange fluids. Should you decide to take part in more risky sexual behaviors(anal, vaginal, or oral intercourse) you must use a latex barrier for protection with every sexual act.

Oral Sex: mouth to genital contact

We do know that there is some risk associated with oral sex. However, the question still remains how much of a risk is there? Researchers are having trouble finding people who only participate in oral sex and want to be a part of a scientific study. There are fewer people who never swallow semen and vaginal fluids, or only choose to receive oral sex or only to perform oral sex on someone else. Even more than vaginal or anal sex, oral sex is viewed by the public as a very private act making it extremely difficult to do in-depth studies on the transmission risks.

Two factors that decrease the risk of contracting HIV from oral sex are:

  • The amount of HIV in saliva has been found to be very small.
  • Swallowed semen and vaginal fluids do not enter the blood stream.

    Factors that make us aware that some risk does exist are:

    1. The HIV virus is found in semen and vaginal fluids.
    2. The lining of the mouth is a mucous membrane, like the lining of the vagina and anus, it is very delicate. Microscopic tears could occur during oral activities and provide a route into the blood stream.
    3. Cold sores or even small cuts from the teeth that are very common in the mouth, may provide an open wound for the virus to enter.


    It is important to remember that oral sex can transmit a variety of other STDs, like syphilis and gonorrhea. To protect yourself, use a dental dam or a non-lubricated condom. A condom can easily make a dental dam. Just cut off the tip and slice it up the side. This makes a flat piece of latex that can be held over the woman's vaginal and surrounding genital area.

    Anal/Vaginal Sex:

    HIV can enter the body in several ways during sex. It can enter through small, even microscopic sores or openings in the walls of the rectum or vagina. It can also directly infect the immune cells that line the walls of the vaginal and anus or the cells of the urethra. Anal sex is especially risky because the lining of the rectum is extremely delicate and almost always tears during intercourse. Even microscopic tears can provide an entrance for HIV.

    Most HIV-positive people have no symptoms and may be unknowingly passing it on. If you are positive, even if your partner is also, condoms will still protect you. An immune system weakened by HIV will have trouble fighting off other STDs and they could trigger HIV-related symptoms.

    Sharing Needles:

    Sharing with someone who's infected can inject the virus directly into your blood stream. If you do have to share a needle, and don't want to get a hold of HIV in the process:



    Mother's can pass the virus on to their unborn children
    Babies are born with their mother's antibodies. Because of this, babies born to infected mothers will most likely test positive for HIV for about two years, until they have developed their own antibodies that can be tested. Amazingly enough, HIV only infect about 18-30% of such children.

    Performing surgery on an HIV infected person is also a risky behavior.

    As you all may have noticed from your last trip to the doctor, special precautions are taken with every patient that comes in. It is important to realize that often medical procedures are not neat. They involve lots of blood, and sharp tools. The risk here is high, and more and more precautions are being taken to protect health care providers and patients.

    Little Risk Areas:

    Traces of HIV can be found in saliva, urine, tears, amniotic fluid, spinal fluid. These aren't all that important, however, because they aren't usually as concentrated with the virus and have few ways of transmitting from one blood stream into another.


    The Red Cross Red Cross Symbol recommends that you should consider getting tested if you:



    You should wait at least six weeks and probably up to six months after the date at which you suspect you may have been exposed to the virus. It takes that long for the antibodies which indicate the presence of HIV in the blood to develop. It is in your best interest to get tested. Studies show that the earlier HIV is detected, the longer the effects of the virus can be held off.

    Site Created By:Thomas F White