Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you catch HIV ?

HIV can only be transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids containing blood such as semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk.
The virus is transmitted by infected blood cells entering the body usually by:
·          Unprotected penetrative anal or vaginal intercourse,
·          Oral sex - although this is less common it is still a risk, especially if there are ulcers, sores or bleeding gums etc in the mouth.
·          The sharing of drug needle’s (as a small amount of blood is drawn back into the needle when withdrawn then injected into the next person),
·          Mother to baby - although with new medicines a mother can give birth to a healthy HIV negative baby.
·          HIV from blood transfusions – blood in the U.K is now screened and is safe although this may not be the case in other countries.
HIV cannot be transmitted by:
·         Toilet seats
·         Kissing / saliva
·         Sweat
·         Tears
·         Urine
·         Hugging/touching
·         Coughing/sneezing
Although HIV is present in sweat, tears, saliva and urine, the concentration of the virus in these fluids is too low for successful transmission.
For transmission of the HI virus, the quality, quantity and route of the HI virus must be strong enough to get into the bloodstream and invade the immune system.

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