Ways & How

ways to get HIV

ways to get HIV

Human Immunodeficiency Virus, also known as HIV, has been infecting millions of individuals all over the world. The rising number of HIV infection cases has drawn attention to the dire consequences of this disease. Awareness about the ways to get HIV is very essential. According to medicinenet.com, the common symptoms of HIV include fever, aching muscles, painful joints, sore throat and swollen glands. While some HIV patients develop complications within a year, others remain asymptomatic, which means no revealing symptom is ever present. A lack of administration of antiviral therapy can possibly lead to the rapid progression of the disease. Anyone can avoid the severe effects of HIV by learning how to prevent it from occurring.  Below are the modes of contracting HIV.

  1. Unprotected vaginal sexual contact. This is the most common way in which a person can get HIV. When an HIV-positive man has unprotected sexual intercourse with an uninfected woman, his semen is the carrier of the virus. Once the penis secretes fluid into the vaginal walls, the woman is already infected with the disease.

    If the woman is the HIV carrier, the vaginal secretions will pass through the opening of the penis, infecting the male partner.

  2. Unprotected anal sexual contact. In male-to-male sexual intercourse, the virus coming from the HIV-positive partner gains entry through an opening in the penis. In male-to-female sexual contact, the virus can pass through the anus. According to Avert, a charitable institution in the United Kingdom, “the chances of acquiring HIV via anal sex are about 70% because the anal region is more delicate than the vagina; it is more likely to sustain injuries during intercourse.”

  3. Infection through oral sex. The virus can enter through open cuts or sores in the mouth. If oral fluid is the HIV carrier, the virus is transferred into the penis. If the man is the HIV carrier, his semen, when swallowed by the woman, causes the transmission.

  4. Use of intravenous drugs. This mode of transmission mostly infects users of illegal drugs. When a syringe is used to inject drugs into veins, traces of the blood can remain on the syringe. When the used syringe is re-used again by another drug user, the infected blood on the syringe is passed on.

  5. Infection through accidental pricking of an infected needle. There are health care institutions in which garbage disposal systems are sub-standard. Syringes and needles used on HIV infected patients can be a source of infection when not properly discarded.

  6. Infection through blood transfusion. This is a concern during blood donations. Ideally, any blood donated has to go through proper screening to ensure that it is not HIV-positive. However, the likelihood of HIV infection through blood transfusion is very remote these days.

  7. Mother-to-baby infection. A pregnant woman is likely to transmit the virus to her baby during pregnancy, especially if she has not been receiving any form of antiviral therapy. Also, an HIV-positive mother is likely to pass on the virus to her infant through breastfeeding.

    Logically, it is better for an HIV-positive woman not to get pregnant unless she is taking proper medication. Also, it is better for an HIV-positive mother to bottle feed her infant instead of breastfeeding.

Sexual abstinence, practicing safe sex, keeping only one sexual partner, non-use of illegal drugs, non-use of infected needles and gaining awareness about the disease are the most effective ways to avoid contracting HIV. The ways to get HIV, when understood fully, can really mean complete avoidance of the disease. Studying other related facts about HIV is highly recommended.


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