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Mechanisms of HIV Transmission 

Mechanisms of HIV Transmission
Chapter:
Mechanisms of HIV Transmission
Author(s):

Puja Nambiar

and William R. Short

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190493097.003.0003
Page of

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date: 27 October 2020

HIV is a sexually transmitted infection. Most new HIV infections in the United States are the result of sex, but it is rare for HIV to be transmitted through oral sex. The risk of HIV transmission to a receptive partner remains higher than that to an insertive one; however, both are at risk. Anything that compromises the integrity of mucous membranes, such as sexually transmitted infections, may increase the risk of transmission. Although not 100% effective, keeping an infected partner’s viral load low reduces the risk of transmission to an HIV-negative partner. Maternal transmission is a larger concern in developing countries due to lack of access to perinatal treatment with antiretroviral drugs.

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