As years go by, the rate of HIV cases all over the world keeps getting higher. Sadly, the victims of this disease are getting younger as well. But is the transmission of this viral infection that easy? A lot of people are wondering- Can you get HIV from kissing? The answer is no. Even though HIV can be spread through body fluids such as vaginal fluids, blood, and semen, you will not get infected through kissing. However, taking care of your oral health is important to prevent dental problems.
How People Get HIV
As mentioned, HIV transmission happens through bodily fluids except for saliva. Why not? Because our saliva contains enzymes and antibodies that prevent HIV from infecting the body. The fluids that could have the virus include:
- rectal fluids
- vaginal fluids
- breast milk
Transmission of HIV happens when these fluids happen when HIV-positive fluids enter the bloodstream through the mucous membranes. Moreover, people with HIV will most likely not transmit HIV if they regularly take their prescribed medication.
Common ways for HIV transmission:
Sexually transmitted virus. Having sex without protection is the most notable reason why HIV spread happens so fast. Sexual contact with someone either through anal or vaginal sex puts an individual at risk of transmission. Anal sex is riskier than vaginal in comparison. The top partner is at risk of HIV as the fluid can enter through the opening of the penis. On the other side, the bottom can be infected as the bodily fluids can quickly enter the rectum’s thin lining.
Sharing needles, syringes, or injection drug tools. Infection can spread through used needles and syringes. Doing this is also putting you at risk of other infectious diseases. The blood left on the needle could carry HIV. And using the same tool in injecting yourself with drugs, hormones, and steroids will ultimately put you at risk of infection. Any surgeon must be careful when performing surgeries like wisdom tooth removal, implants , skin treatments etc.
Unusual ways to transmit HIV:
Mother to child transmission through pregnancy, breastfeeding, and birth. This type of transferal is extremely rare because of the modern ways to prevent HIV. The mother-to-baby transmission is also called perinatal transmission. This is the common reason why children (who are highly incapable of having sex) are infected with HIV. Often, a pregnant woman is advised for HIV testing to prevent the rapid spread of viral infection among children. They are also advised to begin treatment as soon as possible if found positive.
Accidentally getting stuck in HIV contaminated needles or sharp materials. A person can also get infected without having sex with someone. Health care workers are always at low risk of getting the infection because of the nature of their work. Surgeons, nurses and professionals in dentistry should always wear gloves and masks.
Rarest Ways to Get Infected
Unprotected sex is the most common way to get HIV infection. But in rare cases, some people get the infection through non-sexual contact such as:
Oral sex involves placing the mouth to the penis, vagina, or anus. Apart from HIV, other infectious diseases may also be transmitted, such as STDs and genital sores. After sexual stimulation by the anus, you may also get Hepatitis A and B and other forms of bacteria.
Apart from mother-to-baby infection, a baby could also obtain HIV after eating food pre-chewed by the caregiver. However, this claim is very rare and needs further study.
Broken skin or a wound that gets in touch with body fluid with HIV is also rare. You cannot obtain HIV if the skin is not wounded or damaged.
How to Prevent HIV
The best way to keep yourself free from HIV infection is through safe sex. If you have a sexually active lifestyle, the tips below might help you to prevent getting infected:
Be monogamous. Having one sexual partner will lower your chance of being an HIV-positive person. Once you and your partner are done getting tested for HIV and STIs, protect yourselves by staying faithful with one another.
Use condoms. Wearing condoms during sex will ensure that you are safe from infections and sexually transmitted diseases. This should be a practice for male-female and male-male intercourse.
How is HIV passed from one person to another? (https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/hiv-transmission/ways-people-get-hiv.html)
Can you catch HIV from kissing? (https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/sexual-health/can-you-catch-hiv-from-kissing/)