How does someone acquire HIV and AIDS? While the definition concerning these infections or diseases is already well-known to many individuals, the ways these are spread are often unclear to some. With AIDS being the most advanced phase of HIV, it becomes simple for an individuals’ health to fail following the virulent functions of the said infections. It could worsen the immune system, give free access to many opportunistic infections, cause a series of disorders involving the nervous system, and other severe complications that are difficult to treat and alleviate.
The most common way for someone to get infected with the human immunodeficiency virus is through sexual contact. However, there are other ways existent. These are as follows:
Through Sexual Activity
Whether it be HIV or AIDS, these two are still recognized as sexually transmitted infections. Two of the most prevalent types of sexual intercourse related to getting HIV are vaginal and anal sex. The disease is likely to take place once the sexual activity is done without any barrier or protection. This explains why using condoms during intercourse is widely recommended.
A recent study was released stating the great chances of male-to-female HIV transmittal compared to female-to-male. It is merely because of the vulnerability of females towards the infection. Additionally, because of the wider surface space of the females’ organ, it can be exposed easily by the males’ semen which can hold a higher volume of HIV concentration.
Anal sex is also considered as a high risk of infection. There are many cases today that record a high-rate HIV induced by male-to-male sexual activities. Other than that, women who are above 45 years old or those who already pass the menopausal stage are more fragile and can be infected with the disease easily. There is lesser protection to women, who are already in their old years, and even teenagers who haven’t reached their maturity.
Contact with Contaminated Blood
Before, the absence of blood screening and tests was considered as one reason for HIV transmission. Without proper testing, a blood bag possible of HIV contamination can be administered for blood transfusion. Note that the percentage of acquiring the infection is high, making it impossible to avoid health complications. Thankfully, at the present day, a series of blood screening and tests are already available to conduct if a certain blood sample is suitable for transfusion.
One of the prevalent causes of infection aside from blood transfusion is the irresponsible use of shared needles. Individuals who always use shared needles or even syringes without knowing that it’s contaminated by an HIV blood are at high risk of getting the disease. This explains the glaring number of cases involving drug users. Other than that, using needles for tattoos, ear-piercing, and other punctures to the skin using the same needle also increases someone’s chance to get the infection. That’s why if you are trying to get a tattoo, ensure that the needle to use is new and is sterilized for better protection.
A mother can infect her unborn child through pregnancy or her newly-delivered baby during breastfeeding. If a certain mother has pre-existing HIV, there is a great possibility for the infant to get the same infection. This explains the need for a pregnant woman to receive ART treatment so that the complications will not get any worse. While it’s still very early, it is necessary for them to get their medications straight and take them as prescribed.
When the child is born, breastfeeding is not recommended. It is to avoid added complications that can harm the baby. Pediatric children who got infected after their mothers are also required to take medications, but on a dosage that is suitable for them. So, if you are a pregnant woman who happened to have HIV, talk to your doctor immediately and seek assistance to save your baby’s health.
There is no known evidence that HIV can be acquired through social contact or even a simple hug or handshake. Note that transmission only involves bodily fluids such as semen, blood, and secretions. These bodily fluids do not include saliva and tears.
Furthermore, once you are diagnosed with the infection or disease, receive treatment at once so that the virus can still be prevented from progressing and from causing more health complications.