Advice for women about HIV and AIDS

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Non-Sexual Transmission

Although sex is the main way HIV is transmitted, there are other less common ways the virus can infect a person. The main non-sexual routes of transioon are:
- sharing needles
- blood transfusuions, although in the UK today screening has all but eliminated the risk
- other blood treatments, although again screening has eliminated the risk
- from mother to baby
- through breast milk, although harmless in small doses to adult, babies are more at risk

Even today, there are many misconceptions about how HIV can be trasmitted. The fear factor leads to non-senscile theories which some peole belive to be true. The following cannot infect you with HIV:
- touching someone with the virus
- contact with salivia or urine
- communal swimming pools
- sharing dishes
- sharing food
- insect bites; HIV can only survive in human beings
- mosquitos; again HIV is only found in humans
- pets
- giving blood; sterilized needles are always used

The Risk of AIDS through Rape and Sexual Assault

Any not protected sexual intercourse can transmit HIV. Howver becoming infected as a result or a rape or sexual assault is extremely unlikely. Despite thousands of reported rapes each year there is no record of any female HIV infection. Even if the rapist has HIV positive, heis still unlikely to pass the virus onto his victim. The risk of trasmitting the virus through a one off sexual encounter is low even if ejactulation occurs. However, the risk remains and all victims of a sexual attack should seek medical advice.

The Final Thought

Of all the risks of unprotected sex HIV and AIDS are by far the greatest. Although the virus is rare in the UK compared to many devleoping countries it should never be discounted. It's not something that 'always hapens to someone else'. If you are sharing needles or having unproteced sex particulaluy with nurmeros partners you are putting your life at risk. Although treatment is improving with every passing day, there is still no cure for the virus.

If you are still worried about HIV and AIDS speak to your doctor or one of the many charities and helplines in the UK.

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