Learn About HIV Transmission

Learn About HIV Transmission

Learn About HIV Transmission

HIV has been declared a world wide pandemic.

HIV transmission can be through contact of infected blood or sexual fluids with either open wounds or the body's mucus membranes. Once infected, the virus is present in the body within the immune system cells as well as free virus particles in the individual. There are several modes of HIV transmission, the most common being sexual transmission.

Of all HIV infections in the United States about 80% are said to have been caused by unprotected sex. Transmission happens when bodily secretions of a HIV positive person come into contact with oral, genital or anal mucous mucus membrane of another person.

That is, any sort of unprotected sexual relations with a person infected with the virus will transmit it. To guard against infection, the use of latex condoms (or dental dams for oral sex) is recommended.

The use of condoms is said to reduce the risk of sexual transmission by over 85%. Medical circumcision may also reduce the risk of contracting the virus. HIV transmission from mother to child can occur during pregnancy, during delivery or through infected breast milk.

Infected mothers are put on anti-retroviral treatment to lower the risk of transmission which is very high without treatment. Caesarean section rather than vaginal births are recommended for HIV positive mothers to avoid transmission to their babies at birth. Infected mothers should also avoid breast feeding.

Anti-retrovirals are also prescribed for infants of HIV infected mothers as a prophylactic. Treatment greatly reduces the risk of transmission in fetuses and infants. In the 1970s and 80s contracting HIV from a blood transfusion or from an organ transplant from a HIV positive donor was more common.

However since 1985 HIV testing is done for all donated blood, blood products and organs. HIV transmission through sharing needles is especially common among intravenous drug users. Sharing needles with a person infected with HIV puts the virus directly into contact with your vein as needles retain blood and are inserted directly into the vein.

The best option would be to avoid intravenous drug use but if not there are needle exchange programs all over the US which gives intravenous drug users access to uncontaminated needles. Other people susceptible to this mode of HIV transmission are health care workers through accidental needle stick accidents.

Health care workers should always strictly follow safety procedures to avoid contact with bodily fluids. Though needle stick accidents are common in health care setting the level of transmission of the virus is low.

Iklan Atas Artikel

Iklan Tengah Artikel 1

Iklan Tengah Artikel 2

Iklan Bawah Artikel