There are several myths and misconceptions about how HIV or the human immunodeficiency virus can be transmitted, so let us record the record straight once and for all. Indeed, HIV infection is contagious. It attacks a person’s immunity and causes them to become physically weak to fight infections. Transmission of HIV can happen when you kiss someone with blood in mouth. HIV-infected people can transmit the virus through body fluids like semen, blood, and breast milk. If you notice blood in your mouth, go to licensed denture clinics and have it examined promptly. Addressing the issue right away will help you prevent HIV transmission to the people around you.
Facts About Human Immunodeficiency Virus
The truth is, the majority of your daily activities do not pose any risk of HIV transmission. As mentioned earlier, people with HIV can only infect others through body fluids- semen, blood, vaginal fluids, anal fluids, and breast milk.
HIV cannot be transmitted through saliva, skin, feces, sweat, and urine.
Meaning to say there is a meager chance for you to get HIV from regular activities like kissing, social contact, handshaking, hugging, and sharing drinks because there is no exchange of body fluids. However, you can get HIV if you kiss an HIV-positive person who has blood in the mouth. This rarely happens, but it is still a possibility. Ever since the breakout of HIV in the 1990s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only recorded two cases in which HIV-positive people infected another person due to mouth bleeding.
To this date, there are still no reports of HIV transmission through saliva.
Transmission of HIV
The most common way to transmit HIV to an HIV-negative person is through sex. This includes anal sex and oral sex with an infected partner.
Furthermore, HIV can also be transmitted by using contaminated or HIV-infected blood for treatments and by sharing needles.
Pregnant women can put their babies at risk of getting HIV during pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding. The good news is that many HIV-positive people can deliver healthy and HIV-negative babies. For safety reasons, these babies are provided with excellent prenatal health care.
Myths About HIV
What most people think is that HIV is like the flu or common colds- it is not. You can only get HIV if an HIV-infected individual transmits particular fluids to you, allowing the fluid to travel to your bloodstream or through your mucous membranes. This typically happens during oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex, and kissing with bleeding gums. If there is a significant amount of blood in your mouth, it would be best to seek dental services on top of your HIV treatment.
People are falsely afraid of getting HIV through the following:
Although the saliva can carry a minimal amount of the virus, it isn’t considered harmful enough to incapacitate the immune system. Our saliva contains enzymes that disintegrate the virus before it gets the chance to spread out. In conclusion, french and open-mouth kissing is not something to be concerned about.
Another myth that we need to correct is that HIV can be transmitted by handshaking. HIV cannot live on the skin of the infected person. It will not survive staying for too long outside the body. Handshaking with an HIV person won’t transmit the virus to you.
Sharing Drinks and Foods
It’s okay to share foods and drinks with people with HIV. Since the viral infection can’t be transmitted through saliva, there’s nothing much for you to worry about. Additionally, if the food gets contaminated with infected blood, the transmission will still not occur. Why? Because the exposure of the virus to air and stomach acid will destroy it in an instant.
Through pets or insects
HIV does not affect other living beings apart from “humans.” Neither your pet nor the mosquito around you can spread the virus or infect you with it through bites.
What About HIV-AIDS?
Typically, AIDS develops when the HIV-infected person does not seek treatment. According to the CDC, AIDS is the most severe phase of HIV infection, and that it is the last stage where the immune system is badly damaged already.
People with HIV-AIDS have a very high load of the virus and are severely infectious. Unfortunately, patients diagnosed with AIDS typically survive for three years only.
The best way to prevent getting HIV is by NOT having anal, vaginal, or oral sex with an infected person.
If you are sexually active, lower your risk of getting infected by following the tips below:
- Practice safe sex. Prepare condoms before you engage in sexual contact. Apart from preventing HIV, this also lowers your risk of getting sexually transmitted infections. Because it’s hard to tell if a man is about to ejaculate, make sure to put the condom in the penis before it enters your vagina.
- Get tested. Protect yourself and your partner by being aware of your health as well. Get yourselves tested for HIV and STIs before having sex.
- Stick with one partner. Having multiple sexual partners increases your risk of getting HIV. It’s safer to stay faithful with one partner to lower your risk.
- Get vaccinated. Even though there is still no vaccine against HIV, you can get against Hepatitis B and HPV, both sexually transmitted infections.
- Avoid alcohol or drug abuse. These unhealthy habits are commonly the triggers and promoters of unprotected sex. Alcohol and drugs may lead you to risky behaviors such as sharing needles and performing sex with multiple partners.
Is HIV Transmitted Through Kissing? What You Should Know (https://www.healthline.com/health/is-hiv-transmitted-through-kissing)
HIV prevention (https://www.womenshealth.gov/hiv-and-aids/hiv-prevention)