Reduce your risk of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection
HIV is a viral infection that takes away the ability to fight other diseases and makes the body vulnerable to getting any diseases from outside. It can easily be transmitted by encountering an infected person’s blood, semen, and vaginal fluids. Over time, HIV turns into AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Disease Syndrome), and at this stage, the HIV virus destroys your body’s immune system so that any infections can easily infect you and lead to life-threatening conditions or death. So, adopting preventive measures is particularly important to avoid this infection.
Did you know that you can prevent HIV and AIDS by taking some preventive measures?
Prevention measures for HIV
Preventive measures that you should take to prevent HIV and AIDS are as follows:
- Use condoms and barrier protection during sex:
This is important because the most common way to get HIV is through sex. So, it is important to use condoms or barrier protection while having sex. You can use Latex condoms for men and there are condoms available for women too. While using a condom, apply water or silicone-based lubricant to reduce the chances of a condom breaking during sex. If you are allergic to latex condoms, use polyurethane (plastic) or polyisoprene (synthetic rubber) instead. It is okay if any one of you wears condoms or barrier protection. During oral sex, be careful if your partner has any open sore in their mouth or not. To be safe, use a condom or dental dam – a thin square piece of latex or silicone that is placed over your partner’s vulva or anus before oral sex.
- Choose your sex partner wisely:
Choosing your sex partner wisely is important. Transmission chances are exceptionally low if you are monogamous. One of the main reasons for the rapid HIV spread is people have multiple sex partners. So, before choosing a sex partner you should know the history of how many sex partners he or she has. If you are the only partner, that’s great! Because the chances get extremely low to get the infection. Use condoms and barrier protection to lower the chances of transmitting HIV.
- Avoid sharing needles or any metal equipment:
This is also the most common way to get HIV/AIDS. Many people while taking drugs, medicine, or making tattoos use the same needles and injections, which can easily transfer the infection to one another. So, make sure to avoid the same needles, syringes, injections, or any pieces of equipment that can take body fluid and transfer it to another. If you don’t have more needles, then first clean the needles with bleach. But still, this is not recommended because it can still transfer HIV to them. And always use new sterilized needles to draw blood or give medicines and throw it away after use.
- Get tested regularly (for HIV and other STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections))
Always take HIV and other STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) tests to make sure that you are safe, and this also helps to reduce the chances of other transmitting diseases. Also, make sure you take your new sex partner too to get these tests to make sure that he or she does not transmit any STIs or HIV when you begin your sexual relationship. These tests also give you the advantage of starting initial treatment to control the symptoms of the infections.
- Protect yourself with HIV medication and prophylaxis
If you are worried that you might be infected with HIV, Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medication you can take if you want to reduce the chances of getting HIV. This may happen if you:
- Have multiple sex partners
- A partner that is living with HIV
- Inject drugs with unsterilized needles or share needles
- Partner is taking HIV medication but has undetectable HIV
There is also a medicine you can take if you have had a sexual encounter with someone who is HIV-positive. That medicine is called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). You can take the initial dose within 72 hours (about 3 days) after the encounter and follow it up for the next 28 days (about 4 weeks). But the best thing is to take an HIV test and then start taking medications that are recommended by the doctor.
HIV is a chronic infectious disease with no cure and leads to life-threatening conditions and eventually death. By taking prevention, you can protect yourself and your sex partner if you share a monogamous relationship. If you have HIV, early testing and medications help you live longer and control its symptoms from getting worse with time.
Want to know more about HIV complications and how to protect yourself from AIDS?
At Doral Health and Wellness, we have doctors that can help you manage your condition. For more information, you can visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11212, or call us at 1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at https://doralhw.org or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries.