Anonymous
If hiv + blood in small amount gets into mouth through wound licking ,can it infect?Is diarrhoea in cluded in ARS or not?Is condom protection absolutely safe?
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Anonymous
Hello,
Thank you for contacting AIDS Vancouver Helpline for HIV/AIDS related information.

First of all, to answer your question about blood in the mouth, this is a low risk of activity for HIV transmission. Low risk means that there is a potential for HIV transmission because it involves body fluids, but there have been few reports of infection attributed to these activities. The reason it is low risk is because HIV dies when exposed to air, so it is unlikely that there would be airtight contact between the blood in the wound and the mucous membranes in your mouth. Additionally, saliva contains substances that inhibit HIV. However, we do encourage everyone to get tested regularly for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections as part of their regular healthcare maintenance. Additionally, blood in the mouth does pose a risk for other blood-borne infections, such as Hepatitis B and C, so we recommend that you discuss this with your health care provider, as testing would be advised.

Second, I'll address your question about ARS. Acute retroviral syndrome is a name given to variable, clinically non-defined symptoms that develop 2 - 6 weeks post infection in some people and disappear within 8 - 10 days. These symptoms are non-specific and usually include fever and flu-like symptoms, but they do not affect everyone and there are no clinically defined "HIV symptoms". Diarrhoea, however, is not one of these symptoms.

Thirdly, if you are using condoms. congratulations, as this the most effective way to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections including HIV. The reasons for condom use not being effective is mainly due to expired condoms or to improper usage or breakage. One of the main ways condom use can go wrong is by improper removal; condom need to be removed directly after ejaculation.

For more HIV/AIDS related information, we encourage you to visit our website at http://www.aidsvancouver.com

I trust that I have addressed your concerns. Feel free to contact us again if you have more questions.

Thanks,

Sandra, AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
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