Kiss Me, I’m HIV Positive
Kiss Me, I’m HIV Positive
Prepare for the shenanigans! St. Patrick’s Day is quickly approaching, which means people are scoping out their favorite Irish pub, finding that one green shirt they have buried deep in their closet, and slapping on the lip balm so they’re ready to kiss the Irish.
For those looking for some classic St. Patty’s Day fun, don’t worry! You’re not at risk of acquiring HIV or AIDS by locking lips with that cutie in the “Kiss me, I’m Irish” or “I’m not Irish, but still kiss me” shirt.
Are you surprised?! This St. Patty’s Day we can’t address any leprechaun rumors, but we CAN bust 4 common myths about how HIV is spread.
HIV is NOT spread through Kissing
Some people use their St. Patty’s Day luck on smooches with strangers, and that’s perfectly fine! HIV cannot be transmitted through saliva or skin-to-skin contact, so kissing is in the clear.
HIV can be spread through some bodily fluids like blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and anal mucous. It’s important to use a condom or dental dam every time you have sex – and we make that easy! Hope & Help has your back (and other body parts) through our FREE Protect Your O monthly subscription of condoms, dental dams, and personal lubricant delivered in discreet packaging right to your door. Sign up for our Protect Your O delivery today and be prepared for your next encounter.
Hope & Help also provides free, one-for-one, anonymous needle exchanges through our Syringe Services Program, IDEA Orlando. Needle sharing IS a way to acquire HIV, so if you’re an intravenous drug user, please don’t share needles. Stop by our Winter Park medical clinic to receive judgment-free syringe services. We care about you!
HIV is NOT spread through toilets seats
Avoiding public restrooms is next to impossible for someone who’s been out indulging in St. Patty’s Day festivities. After a few drinks it’s hard to avoid “breaking the seal.” While we can’t deny that some bar restrooms are crawling with germs, we can assure you that you will not acquire HIV from a toilet seat.. HIV can’t be spread through urine or through contact with the same toilet seat. Feel free to potty dance your way to that public restroom!
HIV is not spread by sweat
Sometimes the worst part about going out is how much you sweat… especially in Florida! Between the alcohol, crowded venues, and constant movement, sweat is inevitable – no matter how strong your deodorant is. Feeling other people’s sweat on you can be icky, but there’s no risk of HIV transmission! Don’t let a little sweat stop the party!
HIV is not spread through food
It’s hard to deny that bar food is delicious, especially once a few drinks are in your system. If you’re sharing perfectly crisp fries with the cutie sitting at the bar, the only thing you need to worry about is who’s going to cover the tab. Since HIV is not transmitted through saliva, there’s no risk of contracting the virus through sharing food.
What if you ARE exposed to HIV?
While you cannot acquire HIV through saliva, sweat, toilet seats, and sharing food, it’s important to proactively protect your health. Simple steps can help prevent HIV like wearing condoms and dental dams, getting tested, starting PrEP – a once-a-day preventative medicine – and utilizing clean needles (if you are an intravenous drug user).
If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV, you can still protect yourself – but you must hurry! . PEP, an emergency medication prescribed if you may have been exposed to HIV, can prevent you from acquiring HIV if taken within the first 72-hours after exposure. Call us immediately so we can get you the help you need.
Our caring medical professionals are available at our Winter Park clinic Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Call us at 407.645.2577 if you think you have been exposed and we’ll get you in as soon as possible to start PEP.