HIV Contracted Via Saliva a Myth or a Fact.
What do we understand about HIV? HIV is a virus that damages the immune system and when HIV is untreated it infects and kills CD4 cells which are a type of immune cell called T cells. This T cells could be eliminated by the HIV virus making the body prone to other infections or cancers.
The transmission of HIV are through the following
- Breast milk
- Vaginal and rectal fluids.
HIV does not spread in water or air or through casual contact as most people speculate. Now with this basic knowledge, let’s debunk that theory of HIV been gotten via saliva.
If anyone tells you a story about HIV being transmitted via kissing please do not believe that because HIV can only enter the body via damaged areas in the body which is in the mucous membrane lining of the vagina and the rectum, Although, the mouth contains mucous membrane but it does not contain cells that are vulnerable to HIV as those found in the vagina and rectum.
Saliva contains various proteins and enzymes that serve many different functions, like digestion process, assisting in lubrication of the mouth and fighting germs.
The enzyme found in saliva, mucus and seminal fluid is known as Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor (SLPI). This SLPI prevents HIV from infecting the monocytes and T cells which are basically a type of white blood cells and also a part of the immune system.
Saliva contains a large amount of SLPI than vaginal and rectum fluids explaining why HIV is more common in body fluids than the mouth.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) a person cannot transmit HIV via saliva or closed-mouth kissing, though via a deep open-mouth of kissing from both partners with a sore or bleeding gums the infected individual can transmit to the HIV negative partner.