AIDS can spread through blood transfusion, breast milk, vaginal fluids, and semen. Protect yourself from the deadly disorder by using contraception like condoms every time you involve physically and don’t share needs and syringes with anyone. You can speak to your health care specialist to know about medications that help prevent the transfusion of the infection.

What is AIDS and how does it spread?

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The deadly virus damages the immune system and interferes with your body’s ability to fight against the organisms that are responsible for causing the disease. AIDS or HIV is a sexually transmitted disease (STD), which means it can spread through sexual contact. The infections can also be spread by contact with infected blood, or from mother to child during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It may take years before HIV weakens the immune system to the extent that you develop AIDS. The infection cannot be cured, but some medications can slow down the progression of the disease. These HIV medications have already been used to reduce the risk of developing AIDS in many people worldwide.

HIV transmission may take place through blood, semen, rectal fluids, pre-seminal fluids, breast milk, vaginal fluids. Person to person spreads of HIV is only possible when any of these fluids come in contact with a mucous membrane or a damaged tissue or are directly injected into the blood of a person through an injection. Mucus membrane is present inside the vagina, rectum, the opening of the penis and the mouth.

InUnited states, the causes of AIDS are anal, or vaginal sex with someone who develops HIV without using a condom or taking drugs to prevent the deadly virus. Sharing needles with infected individuals is also a cause of HIV transmission.

An infected mother can also transmit the infection to her child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. This transmission is often referred to as mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

HIV transfusion can also take place through blood transfusion, however, in recent years the cases of HIV transmission through blood transfusion has been decreased because of enough awareness and the fact that the donated blood, organs and tissues are carefully tested in the USA. One can’t get the infection through casual contacts with an infected person for example by shaking hands, or a mouth kiss. Also, HIV transmission can’t take place through using toilet seats, dishes, or doorknobs used by an infected person. It is important to spread the message that an HIV infected individual can safely share his/her objects with a non-HIV infected person.

Also Read: List of Skin Conditions Related to HIV/AIDS

How to reduce the risk of getting HIV/AIDS

There is no cure or vaccines developed for HIV/AIDS. But you can protect yourself and others from getting an infection by following these tips:

  1. Use a new condom every time you have intercourse- While having vaginal or anal sex, consider using a new condom every time to protect yourself from HIV transmission. Female condoms are also available for women. If you consider lubricants, be sure to choose one which is water based because oil-based lubricants can weaken your condom and can even break it. During oral sex, use a latex, non-lubricated, cut open condom.
  2. HIV prevention medication- If you are HIV negative, you can take peEP medication to reduce the risk of getting the infection. The medication can be taken by those who are at increased risk of developing the disease, for example, those whose partners are HIV positive. The medicines are supplied in the form of a tablet, and it should be taken before intercourse or exposed to HIV. Visit a sexual health clinic to get the medicine.
  3. Undergo screening for HIV during pregnancy- All pregnant ladies are offered to undergo a blood test to check the presence of HIV as a part of routine check-ups during pregnancy. An infected mother should undergo treatment for AIDS. If left untreated, the virus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her baby during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding.
  4. Use a clean needle every time- If you inject drugs, this could expose you to HIV and another life-threatening virus including hepatitis C. Avoid sharing needles, syringes, and other injecting equipment’s like swabs, and spoons. There are needle exchange programs, consider taking help of your health care specialist to know about the programs.
  5. Tell your partner about the deadly infection-It is important to let your sexual partner know about your HIV status. Also, tell him/her about your current and past sexual partners that were HIV positive.
  6. Limit your number of sexual partners- The more sexual partners you have, the more you are at high risk of exposure to HIV. Avoid making sexual contact with those whose HIV is not well controlled to a partner with an STD.