The human immunodeficiency virus or HIV is the cause of the disease known as AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and not all people who contract it develop this disease, but they do become carriers and, therefore, possible transmitters. As it is a virus that attacks our immune system producing a depression or deficiency of this, it is very important to stay well informed about what exactly it is, how it is spread, what are its symptoms and possible solutions.
But, although today there are many doubts about this virus and the disease it causes, many people continue to have unsolved questions and live in fear of contracting the disease. For this reason, it is vital to consult specialists to help us clear up our doubts and explain the facts well. Thus, in this FastlyHealarticle we want to dispel a very frequent doubt about the spread of this virus: can HIV be transmitted through saliva? Keep reading and discover all the details about it.
Table of Contents
What is HIV?
The human immunodeficiency virus or HIV , which weakens our immunity until it produces a picture of AIDS , consists of several stages and in the first of them it does not present symptoms, therefore it is a time when a person can have the virus , not knowing and transmitting it. It is usually diagnosed after performing various medical tests and only a specialist can do it.
After the asymptomatic stage, some symptoms such as fatigue, muscle pain, propensity to suffer from genital fungi, headaches, fever, swollen glands and a weakening of the immune system, among other clinical signs, begin to be noticed. At a later stage, more symptoms of HIV appear, such as vomiting, intestinal infections, yeast infections, toxoplasmosis, respiratory problems such as pneumonia, and difficulty swallowing.
When the immunity weakens, AIDS ends up appearing, which is a condition in which this acquired weakness of the immune system causes opportunistic conditions and diseases to take advantage of and the patient’s health status worsens much.
Is HIV spread through saliva?
One of the biggest concerns regarding the human immunodeficiency virus is knowing how its transmission occurs in order to be able to prevent it in the best possible way and to avoid it. But, many people who already know that it is transmitted through body fluids have more specific doubts about whether all fluids can infect it or only some. The truth is that not all are transmission routes and that some, such as presemnial fluid, do not contain enough virus to be dangerous. Regarding this, one of the most frequent doubts is whether this virus can be spread through salivary fluid or saliva. Therefore, we are going to answer this question very clearly:
Can you get HIV from saliva?
After several years of conducting various studies in universities and scientific centers around the world, it has not been proven that there is contagion through saliva, but rather it has been seen that the viral load, that is, the concentrated amount of virus in this fluid, it is too small to transmit HIV simply by contact with saliva. Therefore, the scientists and doctors responsible for these studies have long said that saliva does NOT infect HIV , since the presence of this is not enough in this fluid.
It has also been revealed that there are factors in the oral cavity that prevent this virus from remaining in this part of the body and that, therefore, make it impossible for it to spread this way. It is mainly that in the mouth there are enzymes and microorganisms that work by hindering the activity of the virus and that air circulates constantly in the mouth and oxygen is lethal for HIV.
Knowing this, we can now also answer another very common question: can you get HIV from a kiss? . Obviously the answer is that NO for the same reason, the amount of virus is not enough for us.
How HIV Is Spread
Thus, as we have already mentioned, this virus is transmitted by body fluids but it cannot be spread only by contact with the saliva of someone infected. But we must be aware that there are different ways of transmitting HIV . Specifically, the human immunodeficiency virus is transmitted in three possible ways:
- Breastfeeding: a mother infected with the virus can give it to her baby when she breastfeeds to feed herself, since breast milk is a body fluid that does transmit HIV.
- Blood: the human immunodeficiency virus is found in the blood of infected individuals and, therefore, if a healthy person comes into direct contact with the blood of another infected person, they will be infected. It usually happens in cases of injuries in two people due to an accident or a fight, if material such as needles or syringes are shared, people who injure themselves working in hospitals and handle surgical and medical material that has been in contact with blood of HIV patients and, on very rare occasions, due to blood transfusions. The latter, in countries with good development in the field of medical services, no longer happens.
- Sexual route: in cases in which a healthy person has sexual relations with someone infected without due protection, contagion also occurs, either through vaginal discharge, semen or if a small wound is produced, coming into contact with the mucous and ending up directly in the bloodstream.
It is vital to start treating the human immunodeficiency virus before it produces the AIDS picture, since this will avoid getting other secondary infections due to immune weakness, whether due to fungi, viruses or bacteria. Treatment or cure of HIV should begin as soon as it is known that one has the virus and it is not necessary, nor is it currently recommended, to wait to start when the defenses have decreased, that is, the lymphocytes have dropped.
Those affected by this virus can have a completely normal life if they are medicated and, although the drugs do not cure the viral infection completely , they will achieve a minimum viral load in the body. If medical treatment is omitted, complications and secondary infections will begin to appear because the immune system will continue to lose strength and, therefore, the affected person will noticeably worsen.
The blood tests are not only used to diagnose this health problem, but they are also essential to take track of the process of the virus and ensure that medical treatment viral load is kept as low as possible until it is impossible to detect.
How to prevent HIV
Now that you know how HIV is spread, that saliva is not one of the probable routes and more details about this virus, it only remains to know the details about how to prevent HIV . To do this, we must take into account the three real transmission routes that we have discussed.
If we want to make sure we avoid the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus, the first thing is, if you are a pregnant woman, you know that you are infected, you should talk to the doctors immediately to have an exhaustive control of the pregnancy so that there are no complications due to the lowering of defenses progressive. In addition, as soon as you have the little one you should never breastfeed to feed it, since breast milk can spread the virus and you will have to use powdered formula or look for a nurse.
Regarding sexual transmission, the main thing to avoid being infected is to reduce the number of sexual partners, make sure to always use a condom , get to know the other person with whom you have sexual encounters and their state of health and, of course, have tests of STDs as well as specific to detect HIV such as ELISA and PCR tests .
To prevent transmission through the direct blood route, it is vital to be sure of hygiene and safety measures at work in areas such as hospitals and tattoo parlors, where needles are used, and also that the material is new and sterilized and take into account account that should not be reused or shared. In the medical field it is vital that donated blood is thoroughly analyzed to avoid transfusions with infected blood.
In case of being positive in an HIV test, it is necessary to communicate it to the couple and other people with whom they have had relationships for a long period of time, since the first stage is asymptomatic and you can have the virus without being aware of this and that it has been around for a long time.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Can HIV be transmitted through saliva? , we recommend that you enter our Immune System category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.