HIV is relatively hard to transmit. The only risk of an infection exists when infectious body fluids come into contact with wounds or mucous membranes. At a first instance these bodily fluids include blood, sperm, vaginal fluid, breast milk and the liquid film on the mucous membrane of the rectum.
Most frequently HIV is transmitted during unprotected anal intercourse. At the same time it is also possible to transmit the virus during oral sex or through blood contact.
The presence of other sexually transmitted infections in the body heightens the risk of HIV; already inflamed mucous membranes make it easier for HIV to enter or leave the body, and in this case additional immune cells migrate inside, which can then directly absorb and pass on HIV. In this way compromised mucous membranes of HIV-infected persons contain a particularly high count of HIV.
Sharing needles when doing drugs is also very risky. You can protect yourself against HIV, namely through Safer Sex and Safer Use.
The risk of an HIV transmission increases when there are particularly large numbers of the virus present in the blood and other body fluids. This can be the case two to four weeks after a new HIV infection occurred, because the virus multiplies exceptionally vigorously at that time.
The risk is much lower when there are only a few viruses in the blood, for instance when HIV drugs prevent the virus from multiplying.
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