HIV is supposed to be a viral infection which could be transmitted via sexual contact, from mother to her child at the time of pregnancy, breastfeeding, or childbirth, and through blood transfusion. HIV-infected patients would be progressing to AIDS once their CD4 count dips below 200 or when they are exposed to any AIDS-defining complication. In order to get infected with HIV, infected vaginal secretions, semen, and blood need to enter your body. There is no scope for becoming infected with HIV simply through an ordinary contact like kissing, hugging, shaking hands, or dancing with somebody infected with HIV or AIDS.
The Chief Causes
You need to keep in mind that HIV cannot be transmitted via the water, insect bites, or even through the air. Here are some of the numerous ways you could get the HIV infection.
A Sexual Encounter: You could get HIV infection provided you have anal, vaginal and oral sex with an HIV-infected partner whose vaginal secretions, semen or blood enter your body. The virus could gain easy access to your body through the mouth sores or through some tiny tears that appear in the vagina and rectum during the sexual activity. When in doubt, consider proper testing. Your doctor would be suggesting one of the types of Elisa testing for accurate detection and diagnosis of HIV.
Blood Transfusions: In many cases, this virus is successfully passed on to others through blood transfusions.
Needles Sharing: Syringes and needles that have been contaminated with HIV-infected blood can spread the virus if shared. Intravenous drug equipment sharing puts the concerned parties at a very high risk of HIV infection and also a number of other infections like hepatitis.
From Mother to Child: Mothers who are HIV-positive can infect their babies during pregnancy, at the time of delivery or in the future by breastfeeding. The risk of this sort of transmission can be reduced manifold by receiving the right amounts of HIV treatment during pregnancy.
The Major Risk Factors
For a long time, it was believed homosexual men were the only people affected by HIV/AIDS. This is entirely untrue, obviously, and there are millions of documented cases of HIV spreading through heterosexual sex as well. HIV is equally likely to affect people of different ages, genders, and sexual orientations, but the major risk factors are as follows
Unprotected Sex: This means not using a new latex/polyurethane condom every time you have sex. Anal sex poses a higher risk than vaginal sex, and the risk increases with the number of sexual partners a person has.
Other STIs: Your genitals could have a number of open sores if you are suffering from other sexually-transmitted infections or STIs. These sores are directly connected to the blood stream and act as easy doorways for HIV.
Intravenous Drug Use: Users of intravenous drugs share needles and syringes quite often, which expose them to trace amounts of the blood of previous users. This means they are highly susceptible to HIV, especially because this is injected directly into the bloodstream.
Several factors are responsible for HIV. This infection could even occur in certain medical settings as per the studies. However, thanks to an increase in awareness such situations are being consciously eliminated. HIV programs are designed to reduce the vulnerability of the different affected groups.
Author Bio: Evans walsh is a microbiologist and medical researcher currently researching the different types of ELISA tests and other medical procedures. He is working towards becoming a published researcher, and also maintains a detailed blog about his research and other academic posts.