• Unprotected Sex and HIV Transmission Posted by Admin

    prevent HIV transmit when pregnant

    How and why unprotected sex could lead to HIV transmission? Alcohol and power difference are most likely among the reasons. Also, knowing the STD status difference between you and your honey sweetie could also help building a better love nest.

    Several occasions that sex partners go unprotected sex

    1. Alcohol

    Consuming alcohol prior to sex is a major factor of unprotected sex in partners. A research has predicted that probability of having sex increases as participants consume the increasing amount of alcohol. Secondly, probability of having unprotected sex also increases as the more you drink.

    2. Power difference

    Sometimes people are afraid of their partner's reaction and cannot ask the other to wear a condom during sex which increases the probability of getting or transmitting HIV. This is an example of how power difference is harmful. It is even harder to ask a partner to wear a condom in abusive and violent relationships.

    How is HIV transmitted through unprotected sex?

    HIV occurs through transfer of blood, pre-ejaculation, semen and vaginal fluids. The reason why sexual activity is a risk for transmission of HIV is that it allows for the exchange of body fluids like blood, semen and vaginal secretions between partners.

    1. Vaginal Intercourse

    The most common way of transmission of HIV in the world is unprotected vaginal intercourse. It has been revealed in a study that male-to-female HIV transmission during vaginal intercourse is notably more likely than female-to-male HIV transmission. That is to say, HIV-positive men transmit the virus to HIV-negative women through vaginal intercourse more than the HIV-positive women transmit the virus to HIV-negative men because of the larger surface area of mucosal tissues of women and lining of both the vagina and cervix are rich in immune system cells which can damage easily. HIV is transmitted in men occurs through the lining of urethra inside the tip of the penis or through a wound or cut on penis foreskin.

    2. Anal Intercourse

    There is a high risk of occurring HIV through anal intercourse. A receptive partner is at much higher risk for HIV during unprotected anal intercourse but each of two partners can get HIV infected. The reason for this is HIV virus mixed with semen is transmitted through direct contact with anal mucosal tissues. It has been demonstrated in a study that pre-ejaculate (pre-cum) can contain high amounts of HIV and can result in transmission during anal intercourse.

    It is possible for an insertive partner to get HIV infected through a wound or cut on the penis or through the lining of the urethra inside the tip of the penis.

    How and why unprotected sex have high rates of HIV transmission?

    Unprotected sex has high rates of HIV transmission if you have sexual partners with a different HIV status than you. The probability of transmitting HIV increases with a high viral load, and the probability of getting HIV also increases if your partner has a sexually transmitted disease (STD). If you have several sex partners then the chance of having intercourse with a partner who has a different HIV status than you increases so the risk of getting HIV increases.

    1. Having a different HIV status than your partner

    It is necessary that the sex partners know the HIV status of each other. If your HIV status is negative and you are involved in sex with a partner who is HIV-positive then your chances of getting HIV increase, and this probability increases each time you have sex with this partner.

    2. Having sex with several sex partners

    If you and your sex partners have overlapping sex partners, your risk of getting HIV increases. The reason for this is that the more sexual partners you have in your lifetime, the more probably you are to have sex with HIV infected person. IF you are sexually active, you should have sex with fewer partners in future.

    How is HIV prevented through sex?

    1. Use of condom.

    The probability of occurring HIV will significantly be lower if a condom is accurately used during sex.

    Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and treatment as prevention are some other methods of protection during intercourse.

    2. Use pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

    To lower the probability of getting HIV, an HIV-negative person can take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) pill to reduce the risk of HIV by more than 90 percent.

    3. Use post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)

    PEP consists of taking prescription antiretroviral medications after a recent vulnerability to HIV. It is a short course used in an emergency situation, generally for a month, after 72 hours of viable exposure.

    4. Treatment as prevention

    STD/STI check consists of taking medication to decrease the quantity of virus in blood so that the probability of that individual transmitting HIV to a sexual partner may decrease.

  • How Pregnant Mothers Can Prevent Transmitting HIV to Their Babies Posted by Admin

    prevent HIV transmit when pregnant

    As we know, HIV can be passed on from an infected person to an uninfected person through body fluids such as semen, blood, and vaginal fluids. However, Mother-to-child transmission of HIV (perinatal or vertical transmission) is the transmission that occurs from an HIV-positive mother to her child-which can occur during pregnancy, labor (delivery), and breastfeeding. Perinatal transmission is the most common way children become infected with the virus.

    Without the help of any form of treatment for either the expectant mother or the child, an HIV-positive woman has a 15% to 45% chance of transmitting the virus to her baby. That’s between a third and a half, which is fairly high. But with treatment, the chance can be as low as 2%!

    How is HIV transmitted to a baby?

    Vertical transmission occurs due to many factors. The most important of which is the amount of HIV in the blood – also known as viral load. Vertical transmission can occur if the baby comes in contact with mother’s blood or other body fluids.

    During Pregnancy (in utero transmission): some newborn babies tested positive when they are only a few days old. The only explanation is that they became infected during pregnancy. This is most likely to occur if the placenta was damaged during pregnancy and the mother’s blood comes into the blood circulation of the foetus.

    During childbirth: During vaginal births, babies have a high chance of coming in contact with the mothers' blood and other genital fluids. The virus is present in these body fluids and can be transmitted to the babies during childbirth. Especially for mothers with a high viral load.

    Breastfeeding: HIV is present in breast milk and HIV can effectively be passed on from mother-to-child during breastfeeding. The virus in the milk most likely gets passed the infant’s stomach wall and into the bloodstream. It is always advisable for women with HIV NOT to breastfeed their babies. Instead, the use of baby formula is advisable to protect them from the virus.

    How to Prevent Passing HIV to the Baby

    With the right care and treatment, the chances of an HIV-positive mother delivering a healthy child free from the virus is about 98 percent-which is very high! But as it is the case with most STDs, early treatment is key. Hence, it is strongly recommended that women who are planning on becoming pregnant or who are already pregnant should be tested for HIV.

    Protecting your baby during pregnancy

    If you tested positive for HIV before you became pregnant, it is very likely you have a treatment regime in place already, provided your health care provider is aware, you should continue with your treatment. If not, you should talk to your healthcare professional about starting treatment at once.

    If you found out during your pregnancy that you’re HIV positive, after talking with your healthcare professional, it is expected that you begin treatment and continue with it for the rest of your life.

    The drugs used for HIV treatment are called antiretroviral drugs (ART). The treatment is usually made up of three or more ARTs taken together. Sometimes, they are combined into a single pill. Your doctor will be able to recommend which is best for you.

    Protecting your baby during delivery

    If you discover your HIV status and if positive, begin treatment early enough, the chances of transmitting the virus to your baby are extremely small at only 2%. For women living with the virus who are receiving HIV treatment, a vaginal birth remains an option if the viral load is undetectable.

    However, in the case of a high viral load, your healthcare professional is likely to recommend a caesarean delivery. This is because vaginal birth is likely to bring the baby in contact with the mother’s blood and vaginal fluids.

    Protecting your baby after pregnancy (breastfeeding)

    HIV is present in breastmilk and can be passed on from an HIV-positive mother to her child during breastfeeding. According to a study, about 15% of babies born to HIV-positive mothers will be infected if fed breastmilk for 24 months or longer.

    Health care providers strongly recommend HIV-positive women to use baby formula and not to breastfeed, especially if the cost of sterilizing equipment and infant formula is not a problem for you.

    It is also advisable to give your baby a special type of HIV treatment for up to 6 weeks after delivery, usually in syrup form. Your healthcare professional is in a better place to recommend the appropriate type and dosage for your baby.

    Where To Get Help

    If you are pregnant, it is advised you attend your antenatal appointments regularly. You will be offered the traditional model for HIV testing known as the ‘opt-in’ method after voluntary counselling. It is becoming increasingly common for Prevent the Mother-to-child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services to offer Provider Initiated Testing and Counselling (PITC), where women have to decline to take the test after been given counselling about it.

    An HIV-positive mother can pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy, at childbirth, and by breastfeeding. So, the Prevent the mother-to-child transmission of HIV approach requires the transmission of the virus to be blocked at each of these stages.

    Pregnant women who are positive receive treatment for HIV to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus to their babies and to protect their own health. With the right care and treatment, HIV-positive women can become pregnant and deliver healthy babies completely free of the virus.

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