AIDS victims in schools
Jun 28, 1996
I am doing a theses on people who have AIDS and go to the same schools as other students. I wanted to know if it is safe for the other students. I also wanted to know how contagious it is and in what ways can you get it and in what ways you can't.
Response from Mr. Sowadsky
There is a lot of data here to support the fact that students with HIV going to school do NOT put other students at risk of infection. In the 15 years that HIV transmission has been monitored, there have been no cases of HIV transmission in a school setting. The virus is NOT transmitted by any form of casual contact. In terms of how you CAN become infected, just remember the following: Blood, pre-cum, semen, vaginal secretions, and breastmilk all contain high concentrations of HIV, and all have been linked to transmission of the virus. Saliva, tears, sweat, and urine may have the virus in them, but in such low concentrations that nobody has ever been infected through saliva, tears, sweat, or urine. The HIV virus must get into the bloodstream in order to infect you. If it doesn't get into the bloodstream, you will not get the infection. Blood, pre-cum, semen, vaginal secretions, or breastmilk must have direct access to your bloodstream in order to infect you. Activities where this can happen include vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, giving oral sex, sharing needles (IV, tattoo etc), and rarely through receiving a blood transfusion. HIV can also be transmitted from mother to child. HIV is NOT transmitted through any form of casual contact. In summary, in order for infection to occur, 3 things must happen:
You must be exposed to pre-cum, semen, vaginal secretions, blood, or breastmilk. The virus must get directly into your bloodstream through some fresh cut, open sore, abrasion etc. Transmission must go directly from 1 person to the other very quickly.....the virus does not survive more than a few minutes outside the body.
No matter what the circumstances are, if you think about these 3 criteria for transmission, you'll be able to determine whether you're at risk for HIV or not. But do remember that other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) can be transmitted easier than HIV, so what might be low risk for HIV may be high risk for other STD's.
If you have further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).
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