HIV transmission mainly occurs through blood, although it is also found in varying amounts in semen, vaginal fluids and others. Successful HIV transmission can cause AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) which means that the body’s immune system is weakened; letting diseases that don’t usually strike healthy people to infect people with AIDS.
Transmission of HIV will then cause diseases that are called opportunistic infections to infest which become the primary causes of death instead of AIDS itself.
Transmission of HIV occurs mostly through sexual intercourse, although some studies link other sexual activities such as oral sex and anal sex to be a medium of transmission also. However, studies also show that use of condom can greatly reduce the risk of HIV transmission, although it may not prevent totally. Condoms of natural membrane are not encouraged to be used as they have natural pores, letting viruses to pass through. Female condoms should also be considered for more protection, or anytime when male condoms are not available. Condoms however, are only effective in preventing HIV infections when they are used correctly and consistently. Condom breakage is not something to be worried about as they are very seldom, which is less than 2 percent.
HIV transmission also occurs through the shared uses of equipments in using recreational drugs. Most often, people share needles without considering the danger of HIV transmission. Worst still, the same needle may be shared between a few people, greatly increasing the risk of HIV infection to a wider circle of people.
Another unfounded concern is the risk of HIV transmission through kissing. Kissing will not transmit the virus unless there’s a cut or any injury where blood is still existent. So, there is no need to concern whatsoever concerning kissing.
In health care, HIV transmission can occur where babies are infected with HIV through HIV positive mothers. This may occur during childbirth or during breastfeeding as breast milk also contains HIV virus. The only way to prevent HIV transmission from mother to baby is a proper family planning. Couples who have a plan of getting married should go for an HIV check-up first before starting a family. After married, they can start a family by adopting children instead of having a child of their own in order to avoid further complications over having an HIV positive child.
HIV infection also occurs through infected blood transfusions. However, the workers themselves are to be blamed for not scrutinizing the donors beforehand. However, blood transfusions have been made safer through strict screening of donors and also their epidemiological evidence.
Risk of HIV infection is greatly amplified through improper or unsafe handling of equipments in the hospital. Workers are in risk of getting infected if they get stuck with HIV infected needles or having infected blood onto their wounds, nose and eyes. After a few suspected cases concerning improper handling of such equipments, procedures were made to make sure equipments such as needles and surgery equipments be sterilized and even incinerated.
A few other factors may also be suspected, such as tattooing and through insects, such as mosquitoes whereas blood is concerned. Nevertheless, it is still up to us to take care of ourselves instead of hoping and blaming the environment in any case of HIV transmission.