Female-to-Male vs Male-to-Female HIV Transmission
Probably everyone knows that HIV is short for the Human immunodeficiency virus, which finally leads to AIDS, a disease that more and more people are dying of. Well, with the whole HIV scandal in which Nadja Benaissa, 28 years old, former singer in the girl band No Angels is implicated, people have come to wonder what the probability of a female with HIV transmitting the virus to her male partners through unprotected sex is and if there is a difference between female-to-male versus male-to-female transmission.
“As with many things in clinical science, there is no black and white,” said Dr. Charles Hicks, professor of medicine at the Duke University Medical Center. Well, in what concerns medical literature, some studies shows that there are significant differences between the female-to-male and male-to-female HIV transmission, while others show there’s no difference whatsoever. “Despite different findings,” Hicks said, “my opinion is that it’s not enormously different—the idea that men very rarely get infected is a dangerous myth.
“It used to be thought that it was unidirectional with very little female-to-male transmission,” said Dr. John Bartlett, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “There is a large Uganda study that showed it was much more equal. The number that is quoted is 2-to-1; in other words, male to female is twice as efficient or more likely to transmit HIV, as female to male.” Moreover, the transmission of the virus also depends on the quantity of HIV measured in the blood which can be suppressed by taking medication and by using condoms.
Now, although this is a topic that doctors are not happy discussing about, the rate of transmitting HIV is lower during heterosexual intercourse – estimates are from about 1 in 1,000 to as low as 1 in 10,000. However, anal intercourse is believed to be more efficient in transmission.
Be as it may, people should be more concerned on how to help people with AIDS or even how to protect themselves better against the horrible virus that seems to be unstoppable. Science has evolved so much and we are still trying to find a way to make life with AIDS better, if not cure it. Still, we would rather talk and point fingers than actually do something good for mankind. Using protection during intercourse is not such a big deal and everyone should do it, because it is safer. However, HIV doesn’t spread only through sexual intercourse, but also through use of drugs and there are more and more people who contract HIV, especially heroin addicts.
The fact that every other news is about HIV and AIDS should draw an alarm signal and more people should get engaged in helping other people learn about AIDS and methods to prevent contracting it, as many of the people with AIDS have no idea about how and when they got it.11