“Doctor, is it easy to get HIV?”
HIV is the virus that causes the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome – better known by its acronym in English AIDS – and it can be contracted, especially if the person has unprotected sex. That’s why it’s so important to use a condom, avoid risky situations or take other strategies to avoid infection.
Even today, 40 years after the start of the pandemic, the HIV viruscontinues to reach many people around the world.
What are the main forms of contagion?
For the virus to be acquired, it needs to get into the bloodstream. Therefore, if there is no kind of wound on the skin, the simple contact with blood or other contaminated fluids is not enough to contract it.
In practice, the main risk situations for transmission of HIV are:
Who has an undetectable viral load still transmitting HIV?
It is worth remembering that a person with serology (blood serum test) positive for HIV and who takes antiretroviral treatment (TARV) correctly, will be undetectable (viral load at very low levels) in a matter of time.
That is, it reduces the amount of virus circulating in your body so much that it is very difficult to find HIV in the blood and, consequently, the risk of transmission is practically nil.
For this reduction in the sexual transmission of HIV to be effective, the individual needs to have excellent adherence to antiretroviral therapy, be undetectable for at least six months and monitor the viral load regularly.
It is important to point out that, even following the treatment to the letter, the ideal is to keep using a condom, which protects against other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Therefore, even with the reduction to almost zero in the amount of virus in the body, it is essential to maintain prevention measures.