From getting HIV through the air, shaking hands, sharing food or drinks, and through sweat, the list of myths about HIV spread goes on. Among these, the most popular is whether HIV can be transmitted with a kiss.
Can you really contract the virus by kissing someone? This article will answer this myth about HIV to set the record straight.
Can You Get HIV From Kissing?
The answer is no. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks a person’s immune system. Although HIV is contagious, most of your daily activities don’t put you in danger of contracting the virus, including kissing.
You cannot catch HIV from kissing. Research suggests that HIV is transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids like blood, semen and vaginal fluids, but not saliva.
Even though HIV can be found in saliva, it cannot be spread to others through kissing because a combination of antibodies and enzymes found naturally in saliva prevents HIV from infecting new cells. Only certain body fluids, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, anal fluid, and breast milk, can spread HIV from one person to another.
With all that explanation, it is certainly safe to kiss your loved one without the risk of getting HIV.
You cannot get HIV from kissing. Despite this being a hundred percent true, it does not lessen your chances of getting HIV some other way. For example when kissing advances to more passionate sexual action. So, being under a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can add another layer of protection against the virus. PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex for up to 99%.
Truvada and Descovy are the two pills approved for use as PrEP. Truvada is for people at risk through sex or needle-sharing. On the other hand, Descovy is for individuals at risk through sex alone. If you are already diagnosed with HIV, undergoing antiretroviral therapy (ART) can minimize the progress of the virus in your body. ART is not a cure for HIV, however, HIV medicines help people with HIV live longer.
ART medications include nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), protease inhibitors (PIs), integrase inhibitors, fusion inhibitors, gp120 Attachment Inhibitor, CCR5 antagonist, post-attachment inhibitor or monoclonal antibody, pharmacologic enhancers.
A consultation with your doctor can help you know the next steps towards your HIV treatment and can prescribe you the appropriate drugs you will need.