Buzzers HIV is a virus that attack our immune systems. With the spreading of unhealthy lifestyle such as a casual sex, drugs, stealthing trends in UK, and many more, it will be very helpful for you to understand more about this virus. So, here we try to answer top 15 questions about HIV which you might still unsure (Part 2).
9. Can I get HIV from anal sex or oral sex?
It’s a very rare case that someone can get HIV from oral sex such as fellatio (putting a mouth to a penis), cunnilingus (putting a mouth to a vagina), or anilingus (putting a mouth to an anus).
But, it doesn’t mean you will be 100% safe because you don’t know that you or your partner may have sores in their mouth, small wounds or break in a vagina or penis that you don’t notice. All the sores & wounds can contain blood which carry HIV. It may infected you if it has a contact with your mucous membranes.
10. If I have unprotected sex and don’t know if my partner has HIV, what should I do?
You should talk with your healthcare provider immediately, no more than 72 hours after a possible infection. As a prevention they may suggest you to take PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis).
PEP is a short course of ARV drugs which you should take for a month. You should do this step too even if you use condom but you saw the semen leaking from it (condom is broken), if you do anal sex, not in a monogamous relationship, share injection with other drug user, or get a sexual assault.
11. Does it mean I am free from HIV if I take PEP after a high risk activity that may transmitted HIV virus?
No, taking PEP medication will not kill the HIV virus but it will strengthen your CD4 cell or immune system. So, at least it will suppress the virus so you won’t get other disease easily and prevent others in getting infected too. You should see your healthcare provider regularly and have an HIV test after PEP to know your HIV status.
12. If I am a person who tend to engage in an activity that higher my chance getting HIV frequently, what medication should I use?
In this case, you may use PrEP (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis). You can visit your healthcare provider and ask them about PrEP. Your healthcare provider will give no more than 90 days supply and you should do extensive HIV risk reduction counseling.
13. If after medication and HIV test then I found out I am infected by HIV, How long will I live?
If you have HIV + you don’t need to be pessimistic about life. You only need to schedule a counseling with your healthcare provider and take a prescribed medication regularly. Thankfully ARVs (Antiretroviral drugs) will suppress the virus so it won’t attack your CD4 cell. With a strong immune system, you can live longer like people who doesn’t have HIV.
14. If I have HIV +, Should I not get married or have a baby because there is a chance that the virus will be transmitted to the baby?
You can be very positive about your life. You can get married even with a person who is HIV Negative meaning they don’t have HIV virus in their body. But, You need to talk openly about your medical record to them so they also know how to prevent it.
You also need to take your ARVs regularly and always check CD4 cells in your blood with CD4 test every 3 to 6 months. The medicine can suppress the virus so it won’t give an infection to your partner or baby. Ideally your CD4 cells should be above 500.
15. Can I get another type of HIV?Yes, if you don’t take ARVs and monitoring your CD4 cells level you are in a high risk to get HIV superinfection. HIV superinfection is when HIV get infected with another strain of virus. As a result, the person who develop this type of HIV will get sicker faster and the virus also will be resistant to ART (Antiretroviral Therapy). So, always follow the instruction of your healthcare provider and try to avoid activities that have higher risks in transmitting HIV.