Saturday, May 28, 2022

How To Protect Yourself From Hiv Infection

How Do I Avoid Getting Hiv During Sex

HIV: How to Protect Yourself and Others

HIV is spread through contact with blood or sexual fluids , usually during vaginal and anal sex. So the only 100% certain way to avoid HIV is to not have vaginal or anal sex.

But most people do have sex at some point in their lives, so learning about HIV prevention and knowing how to have safer sex is important. Using condoms REALLY lowers your risk of getting HIV. If youre going to have sex, using condoms every single time is the best way to protect yourself from HIV. Theres also a daily pill you can take called PrEP that can help prevent HIV. Your doctor or nurse can tell you if PrEP is right for you.

Some sexual activities are safer than others when it comes to getting HIV. These activities are no risk theyve never caused a reported case of HIV:

  • masturbating

  • having oral sex with a condom or dental dam

  • using clean sex toys

These activities are lower risk theyve only caused a few reported cases of HIV :

  • “French or deep kissing

  • vaginal sex with a condom and/or PrEP

  • anal sex with a condom and/or PrEP

  • oral sex without a condom or dental dam

These activities are high risk millions of people get HIV this way:

  • vaginal sex without a condom or PrEP

  • anal sex without a condom or PrEP

Theres no vaccine that protects against HIV, but lots of people are working on making one. And there are medicines that can help prevent HIV.

How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Hiv

  • Get tested for HIV. Talk to your partner about HIV testing and get tested before you have sex. Use this testing locator from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find an HIV testing location near you.
  • Choose less risky sexual behaviors. HIV is mainly spread by having anal or vaginal sex without a condom or without taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV.
  • Use condoms every time you have sex. Read this fact sheet from CDC on how to use condoms correctly.
  • Limit your number of sexual partners. The more partners you have, the more likely you are to have a partner with poorly controlled HIV or to have a partner with a sexually transmitted disease . Both of these factors can increase the risk of HIV transmission.
  • Get tested and treated for STDs. Insist that your partners get tested and treated, too. Having an STD can increase your risk of getting HIV or spreading it to others.
  • Talk to your health care provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis . PrEP is an HIV prevention option for people who don’t have HIV but who are at risk of getting HIV. PrEP involves taking a specific HIV medicine every day to reduce the risk of getting HIV through sex or injection drug use. For more information, read the ClinicalInfo fact sheet on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis .
  • Don’t inject drugs. But if you do, use only sterile drug injection equipment and water and never share your equipment with others.

Testing For Drug Resistance

HIV often changes or mutates in the body. Sometimes these changes make the virus resistant to certain medicines. Then the medicine no longer works.

Medical experts recommend testing the blood of everyone diagnosed with HIV to look for this drug resistance.footnote 8 This information helps your doctor know what medicines to use.

You also may be tested for drug resistance when:

  • You are ready to begin treatment.
  • You’ve been having treatment and your viral load numbers stop going down.
  • You’ve been having treatment and your viral load numbers become detectable after not being detectable.

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What Is The Outlook For Someone With Hiv/aids

If you are diagnosed with HIV and you start ART soon after, your immune system will not be as compromised. If you continue to take your medicines every day, your outlook is very good.

ART can keep blood levels undetectable but cannot entirely rid the body of the virus . If you do not keep up on your medication, the virus goes back into the blood.

If you have HIV and dont treat it, it can take about 10 years to lead to AIDS. If you have AIDS and dont treat it, the survival rate is about three years.

It is so important to know that people who have HIV and who follow treatment guidelines are able to live full lives for nearly as long as HIV-negative people.

Ways To Protect Your Partner From Hiv Infection

Care for people with AIDS. Protect Your patient from ...

According to Statistics SA, roughly 12.6% of the South African population is HIV positive. Thats around one in 8 people, which means if youre dating or in a non-monogamous relationship, theres a pretty good chance youll come into contact with HIV positive partners.

Of course, theres the chance that youre the HIV positive person in the relationship. These facts dont have to be scary or mean that you cant have sex. It just means you need to have a good understanding of the illness and know how to protect yourself and/or your sexual partners from contracting the disease.

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What Is Pep And How Does It Prevent Hiv

PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. Its a series of pills you start taking after youve been exposed to HIV that lowers your chances of getting HIV. You have to start PEP within 72 hours , after you were exposed to HIV for it to work. The sooner you start it, the better. Every hour counts, so if you think you were exposed to HIV, call your nurse or doctor or go to the emergency room right away. PEP is only for emergencies it doesnt take the place of using condoms or PrEP. Read more about PEP.

For Intravenous Drugs Or Other Encounters With Needles

Sharing needles with other people or using unsterilized needles to take illegal or IV drugs can increase your chance of contracting HIV and other conditions like hepatitis.

Here are a few methods to lower your chance of contracting HIV if you inject needles into yourself.

7. Dont share needles

Never share needles with another person. You can contract HIV even doing this just one time.

8. Use sterilized needles

You should only inject yourself with sterilized needles. There are helpful ways to make sure your needles are clean. Make sure your needles are:

  • new
  • from reputable sources like a pharmacies or medical suppliers
  • sanitized with bleach

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Testing Positive For Hiv

If you test positive, your doctor will complete a medical history and physical examination.

He or she may order several lab tests to check your overall health, including:

  • A complete blood count , to identify the numbers and types of cells in your blood.
  • A chemistry screen, to measure the blood levels of certain substances and to see how well your liver and kidneys are working.

Other tests may be done to check for current or past infections that may become worse because of HIV. You may be tested for:

Hiv And Aids Treatments

Protecting Yourself and Your Partners from HIV

The medications used to treat this disease are called antiretroviral drugs. They block the development of the virus at various stages of its reproductive cycle. The treatment always involves using a combination of several drugs, which improves its effectiveness. Taking all of the medications as prescribed by a doctor is essential to ensure optimal treatment. Antiretroviral drugs help slow down virus multiplication and therefore, maintain a strong immune system to delay the onset of AIDS as long as possible. There is currently no cure for AIDS.

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Sex With A Partner That Is Hiv+

Condoms should be used during all sex acts, whether it be oral, anal or vaginal intercourse. Condoms uses correctly and consistently form very good protection against infection with HIV and most other sexually transmitted diseases.

When using condoms, check the expiration date. Condoms kept in a cool and dark place can be used for 4 years after the manufacturing date. Never use oils, creams or Vaseline for extra lubrication when using condoms. Use a water or silicon based lubricant such as KY-Jelly or other brand.

There has been no evidence of spread of HIV infection through saliva. Kissing, including tongue/deep kissing is safe. However, if there are bleeding gum irritations in the mouth deep kissing should be avoided.

Sharing Needles And Injecting Equipment

If you inject drugs, this could expose you to HIV and other viruses found in blood, such as hepatitis C.

It’s important not to share needles, syringes, injecting equipment such as spoons and swabs, or the actual drugs or liquids used to dilute them.

Many local authorities and pharmacies offer needle exchange programmes, where used needles can be exchanged for clean ones.

If you’re a heroin user, consider enrolling in a methadone programme. Methadone can be taken as a liquid, so it reduces your risk of getting HIV.

A GP or drug counsellor should be able to advise you about both needle exchange programmes and methadone programmes.

If you’re having a tattoo or piercing, it’s important that a clean, sterilised needle is always used.

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What Conditions Are Considered To Be Opportunistic

Some of the most common of these OIs/cancers among HIV-positive people include:

Cancer: The types of cancers that are you are more likely to get if you have AIDs include lymphoma, Kaposis sarcoma, invasive cervical cancer, anal cancer, liver cancer, and cancers of the mouth, throat and lungs.

Candidiasis : This condition is caused by Candida fungus. It can happen in the skin, nails and mucous membranes throughout the body, such as the mouth or the vagina. The cases can be troublesome, but thrush is especially dangerous when it affects the esophagus or parts of the respiratory system .

Pneumonia: This respiratory condition is most commonly caused by _Pneumocystis jirovecii and the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae._

Salmonella: This infection is spread through contaminated food and water. It causes diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.

Toxoplasmosis: This disease is caused by a parasites that live in cats and rodents and other warm-blooded animals. The infection is spread through the feces. Toxoplasmosis can cause severe problems in the lungs, heart, brain and other organs. If you have a cat, wear gloves to change the litter and be thorough in washing your hands.

How Do You Get Hiv

HIV?AIDS Education Revised

As is the case for most viruses, HIV is contagious. It is transmitted through biofluids containing high levels of the virus such as blood, sperm, vaginal secretions and breast milk. An infected person can transmit the virus even if they are symptom-free.

The virus can spread in various ways, including:

  • sexually, during unprotected sexual intercourse
  • through drug or medication abuse, using dirty syringes
  • through pregnancy, via the umbilical cord, when giving birth or when breastfeeding
  • through blood and blood products, during blood transfusions

However, the virus cannot be spread in the following ways:

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    A Few Simple Precautions Can Help You Avoid Getting Sick With An Infectious Disease

    Infections are caused by microscopic organisms known as pathogensbacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasitesthat enter the body, multiply, and interfere with normal functions. Infectious diseases are a leading cause of illness and death in the United States and around the world. For certain people–particularly those with underlying illnesses like heart disease or cancer, those who have serious injuries, or those who are taking medications that weaken the immune systemit’s more difficult to avoid getting sick with an infection. Living in an affluent country like the United States, the threat we face from deadly viruses, bacteria, and parasites can seem remote, but these infectious microbes are ever present among us, according to Dr. Michael Klompas, writing in the Harvard Medical School Special Health Report Viruses and Disease. Dr. Klompas is an infectious disease specialist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. However, for most healthy people, following a few basic principles can go a long way in helping to prevent infections.

    Good Hygiene: The Primary Way To Prevent Infections

    The first line of defense is to keep germs at bay by following good personal hygiene habits. Prevent infection before it begins and avoid spreading it to others with these easy measures.

    • Wash your hands well. You probably wash your hands after using the bathroom, before preparing or eating food, and after gardening or other dirty tasks. You should also wash up after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing feeding or stroking your pet or visiting or caring for a sick person. Wet your hands thoroughly. Lather up with soap or cleanser, and rub it into the palms and backs of your hands and your wrists. Be sure to clean your fingertips, under your nails and between your fingers. Rinse under running water. Dry your hands and wrists thoroughly.
    • Cover a cough. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, then dispose of it. If no tissue is handy, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than into your hands.
    • Wash and bandage all cuts. Any serious cut or animal or human bite should be examined by a doctor.
    • Do not pick at healing wounds or blemishes, or squeeze pimples.
    • Don’t share dishes, glasses, or eating utensils.
    • Avoid direct contact with napkins, tissues, handkerchiefs, or similar items used by others.

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    Dont Worry About Casual Contact

    If you know or live with someone with HIV, you donât need to worry about getting the virus through day-to-day contact. You can hug them, shake their hand, use the same toilet, drink from the same glass, or even kiss them on the mouth without worry. While HIV spreads through blood and body fluids like semen, this doesnât happen with saliva. You also canât get HIV if you eat a meal made by someone whoâs HIV positive. Even if small amounts of HIV-infected blood got in the food, the virus canât survive long outside a body, and your stomach acid would destroy it.

    Itâs best not to share the same toothbrush or to eat food thatâs been already chewed by someone with HIV. Although very rare, there have been reports of infection in both cases. This is because if thereâs any blood in the infected personâs mouth, it can enter yours if you have an open wound.

    Are Women More Likely To Get Hiv

    Protect Yourself from HIV PSA

    Yes. Biologically speaking, a woman is more vulnerable to heterosexual transmission of the disease because the genitalia are easily exposed to seminal fluids.

    Gender inequality has great influence on the spread of HIV/AIDS among women. In some cultures, many women and girls are often put in situations where they engage in non-consensual sex or have sex for money.

    In the U.S., minority communities have been hit the hardest by HIV. African American and Hispanic women together represent less than 25% of all U.S. women, yet they account for more than 78% of AIDS cases reported among women in the country.

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    Know The Risks Of Oral Sex

    The CDC notes that the chance an HIV-negative person will get HIV from oral sex with an HIV-positive partner is extremely low. However, certain factors, such as oral ulcers, bleeding gums, mouth sores, and the presence of other STIslike syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrheaincrease the likelihood of acquiring HIV through oral sex. Oral contact with HIV-infected menstrual blood can also increase your risk. Knowing these risks and proceeding with caution can help keep you safe.

    What Can Women Do

    The most effective way to prevent HIV is to abstain from sexual activity and injection drug use. However, if you are sexually active or use injection drugs, today there are more tools available to prevent HIV. You can:

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    Screen And Treat For Hiv During Pregnancy

    If youre pregnant, you should get tested for HIV. If you do have HIV, taking the appropriate medicines religiously can greatly lower the risk of transmitting it to your baby. In fact, if you start treatment early enough, you can reduce the risk to about 1% or lower.9

    Breast milk contains HIV. So if you have HIV, you can avoid transmitting it to your baby after delivery by not breastfeeding.10

    References

    When Should You Call The Doctor If You Have Hiv Or You Think You Have Been Exposed To Hiv

    Ten Good Ways to Protect Yourself from HIV &  AIDS

    There is also post-exposure prophylaxis , which is used in emergencies and should be started within 72 hours after the possible exposure. This involves taking antiretroviral therapy after this exposure. ART may be prescribed after sexual assault, or if you think you have been exposed during consensual sex or drug-taking.

    If you already know you have HIV, you should follow your healthcare providers instructions on when to call. It is important to treat any type of infection, so call if you have new symptoms or things like a fever, sweating episodes, diarrhea, and so on. Its better to check with your doctor if you have any kind of symptom that worries you.

    The main feature of managing AIDS is to continue to take your medicines and to fight back at opportunistic infections at the first sign of them.

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