HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, making it vulnerable to infections and diseases. It is primarily transmitted through certain bodily fluids, such as blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk, which can infect people during sexual contact, sharing injection drug equipment, and from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.

However, there are still many misconceptions about the transmission of HIV, particularly whether saliva can transmit the virus.

In this blog, we explore the truth about HIV transmission and how you can protect yourself from HIV.

What is HIV?

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, making it difficult to fight off infections and diseases. Over time, HIV can weaken a person’s immune system to the point where they are vulnerable to life-threatening illnesses.

There is currently no cure for HIV, but with early diagnosis, antiretroviral therapy (ART), and ongoing medical care and treatment, people living with HIV can live long, healthy lives.

What is saliva?

Saliva is a clear liquid that is produced in the mouth and contains enzymes that aid in digestion. Saliva also helps to keep the mouth moist and can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva is primarily composed of water, but it also contains electrolytes, mucus, and other substances.

Can HIV be transmitted through saliva?

The short answer is no, HIV cannot be transmitted through saliva. HIV cannot survive in saliva because it contains enzymes and other proteins that can break down the virus.

However, there are some exceptions to this. For example, if a person has bleeding gums, open sores in the mouth, or other injuries to the mouth or gums, it is possible for HIV to be transmitted if the bodily fluids of an infected person enter the mouth. In very rare cases, transmission can occur if two people who kiss both have bleeding gums or sores in their mouth.

How do I protect myself from HIV?

The best way to protect yourself from HIV is through prevention. There are several ways to prevent HIV transmission, including using condoms during sex, avoiding sharing injection drug equipment, and getting tested for HIV regularly. It is also important to be aware of the symptoms of HIV and to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you have been exposed to the virus.

Final thoughts

If you are concerned about your sexual health and think you may have an STI, you should get tested with Better2Know. Better2Know offers a range of testing services that can help you stay informed about your sexual health.

Don’t hesitate to book your appointment today and take control of your sexual health.

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