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MUST READ: 3 frequently asked questions about HIV transmission




  1. Is it possible for someone to have unprotected sexual intercourse with a person infected with HIV and not become infected?

HIV, unlike other STIs is less infectious; therefore even without a condom a person may not be infected when he/she has sexual intercourse with a positive partner depending on some factors. These factors include:

  • Viral load of the infected person (how much or less of the virus in the infected person’s blood and bodily fluids
  • The duration and intensity of the intercourse
  • Frequency of sexual contact
  • Whether the HIV positive partner is on antiretroviral therapy

The risk of getting infected with HIV after sexual contact with an infected person can be difficult to assess. The risk could be say, 1 in 100 depending on the factors mentioned and some others but a person cannot really tell if he/she would end up being the unlucky one out of a hundred persons who will get HIV.

The bottom line is this, although it is possible to not be infected with HIV following sexual contact with a positive person; there are nevertheless chances of being infected whether or not condom is used, whether it is vaginal sex, anal sex and maybe oral sex and regardless of HIV medication use

  1. Can HIV be transmitted through kissing and oral sex?

While there are really no documented cases of transmission of HIV through saliva, it is possible for the virus to be transmitted through deep kissing if the infected person has open sores in his/her mouth or blood in the saliva and the uninfected partner also has sores or cuts in or around his/her mouth.

There have been a few documented cases of HIV transmission through oral sex, although the exact risk is not known, it is nevertheless considerably less than vaginal and anal sex

  1. Can a person reduce the risk of HIV after having sexual intercourse with an HIV positive person?

If during sexual activity, the condom broke or a person got to find out after being sexually intimate with a person that he/she is HIV positive, there are ways the uninfected person can reduce his/her risk of becoming infected with HIV.

This is called postexposure prophylaxis or PEP. Medications similar to ones used to treat HIV are given for about a month. These medications work best when they are administered soon after exposure to the virus, ideally, not later than 72 hours.

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Mofeyintioluwa is a health enthusiast who has particular interests in nutrition and fitness. She also loves music and enjoys reading Christian biographies. She thinks social work and public health are noble professions. Ultimately, she's exclusively for Jesus.