How Do you Get HIV

There are many questions related to HIV and I think that one of the most important of them is regarding the methods of contracting the virus. There are several ways through which this might happen, and in this article I am going to present some of these methods.

Vaginal Sex

The virus can be found in the body fluids of infected people. In case of men, this means pre-cum and semen that come out of the penis before and during sexual intercourse. In case of women, this refers to vaginal fluids. In case an infected man has vaginal intercourse with a woman without a condom, she might contract the virus through the linings of the vagina, womb and cervix. The risks are even higher if there is a cut or sore inside the vagina because this way it is easier for the virus to get into the bloodstream. These cuts and sores might not be visible and it is possible for the woman to be unaware of them.

In case the woman is infected and she has vaginal intercourse with a man without protection, the man can get infected through a sore patch on the penis or through the urethra but it is also possible to contract the virus through the inside of the foreskin.

Anal Sex

In case of anal sex, the chances of contracting HIV are higher than that of vaginal sex. The lining of the anus is weaker than that of the vagina and it is easier to damage it during intercourse. The contact with blood increases the chances of getting infected. In case the man is in an insertive position during anal sex, he is also at risk of getting infected.

Oral sex

In case one of the partners is infected, the chances of transmitting the infection are very small through oral sex. However, if a person performs oral sex to an HIV positive man, the infected fluid might get into his or her mouth. In case this person has a sore, ulcer or problems with gums, then there is a high risk of HIV entering the bloodstream. The same things are true if the receiving partner is a woman.

Injecting Drugs

Drug users who inject drugs represent a high-risk group regarding HIV. This is caused by the fact that they usually share the injecting equipment and this is a very efficient way to transmit the viruses of the blood, like HIV and Hepatitis C. Sharing hypodermic needles is said to be three times more dangerous than having sexual intercourse. In case the equipment is disinfected between the uses, the chances of transmitting the illness are greatly reduced, but still there is a slight chance of getting infected.

Mother to Child Transmission

An infected mother might infect the unborn child with HIV while being pregnant, or during labor or delivery. Another way to pass HIV is through breastfeeding. Fortunately, there are some drugs that can reduce the chances of the mother infecting the baby before he or she is born.

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