HIV is primarily transmitted in two ways: via unprotected sex and through the sharing of needles while using drugs. The transfer of the virus from mother to child during pregnancy, birth or while breastfeeding can now usually be prevented with medication and the right care.
HIV is primarily transmitted in two ways: via unprotected sex and through the sharing of needles while using drugs. The transfer of the virus from mother to child during pregnancy, birth or while breastfeeding can now be prevented with medication.
Anal sex and vaginal sex without a condom are the main ways in which the virus is transmitted. Oral sex is much lower risk, as the mucous membrane of the mouth is better able to resist HIV than other mucous membranes.
Safe sex is means activities where it is impossible to become infected with HIV. Contact with potentially infectious bodily fluids is entirely avoided. That means that anal, vaginal and oral sex are not in this category, if it is not one hundred per cent certain that the partner is HIV-negative. Sexual activities such as kissing, stroking, massage or masturbation are possible. Many people do not want to restrict themselves so severely, so they prefer to practice "safer sex."
Safer sex means the risk of HIV infection is very very low. This is because contact with infected bodily fluids is avoided. Safer sex includes: using a condom and water-based lubricant in anal and vaginal sex not allowing semen, vaginal or rectal fluid or blood to come into contact with mucous membranes; not allowing semen to enter the mouth during oral sex. Safer sex dramatically reduces the chance of HIV infection, but it is not one hundred per cent safe. For example, accidents can happen when using condoms - the condom can slip off or tear, particularly if it is not used properly.
Contact with pre-cum during oral sex is not sufficient to cause infection. The level of the virus in pre-cum is much lower than, for example, in semen. In addition, the pre-cum is diluted in the mouth by saliva.
There is no risk of being infected with HIV in day-to-day situations. Sharing cups and plates, cutlery, glasses, clothes or similar is safe. So is using shared swimming pools or saunas. Transmission is not possible in the shower or on the toilet. Neither is it possible to be infected by shaking hands, hugging or playing with children. It is impossible to be infected through insect bites or from animals in any way.
HIV is quite a difficult virus to transmit, and unprotected sex with an HIV-positive person does not automatically lead to infection. Statistically, the chance of becoming infected from just a single instance of unprotected sex is low. In each particular case, however, there are many factors which play a role and which may raise or lower the risk of HIV transmission.
A range of illnesses can be transmitted through sexual contact, such as syphilis, hepatitis or gonorrhea. Most sexually transmitted infections can be treated and can often be entirely cured if they are diagnosed early enough. Immunizations against hepatitis A and hepatitis B are available.
Don't just wait and see! A counseling session can help you know work out whether you’re really at risk. The session can also determine whether you should have an HIV test. If necessary, we can also help you find testing sites and doctors with knowledge of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.