What Activities Are Safe
While certain sexual activities, such as mutual masturbation, barrier-protected oral sex, and oral to anal contact have little or no risk of HIV transmission, some of these activities may have the potential for transmitting other STIs. While HIV is transmitted only by blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk, other STIs can be transmitted by simple genital skin-to-skin contact or oral sex.
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
How Can You Prevent Getting Or Transmitting Hiv Through Sex
There are several ways to prevent getting or transmitting HIV through anal or vaginal sex.
If you have HIV, the most important thing you can do to prevent transmission and stay healthy is to take your HIV medicine , every day, exactly as prescribed. People living with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners. Read more about Treatment as Prevention. There also are other options to choose from, below.
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What Is Art And How Does It Help Prevent Hiv
Antiretroviral therapy is a combination of medicines that slows down the effects of HIV in your body and can help you stay healthy for many years. It can also lower or even stop your chances of giving HIV to anyone else.
ART lowers the amount of HIV in your body sometimes to the point where HIV wont show up on standard blood tests. If your HIV viral load is so low that certain tests cant see it, its called undetectable. When someone has an undetectable viral load, they cant spread HIV to others during sex.
Its important to remember that even with an undetectable viral load, HIV is still present in your body. If you stop treatment your viral load can go up, making it possible to pass HIV to others you have sex with. Your doctor or nurse can help you find the treatment thats best for you to help keep your viral load low, so you can stay healthy.
Never Share Needles Or Syringes
Sharing needles, whether youre injecting hormones, steroids, or illegal drugs, can increase your risk for HIV. Needles, syringes, or other injection equipment that has already been used may have HIV-infected blood in them that can make you sick, according to the CDC. In addition to HIV, these needles often also carry the viruses that cause hepatitis, which can lead to liver failure, Dr. Collman says.
Thats why he says that needle-sharing programs, where injection drug users can obtain clean hypodermic needles and associated paraphernalia at no cost, are very effective in preventing the spread of HIV.
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How To Protect Yourself From Hiv/aids
How to Protect Yourself From HIV/AIDS. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS. AIDS attacks the bodys immune system, making the body vulnerable to many illnesses. HIV is spread when the blood, urine, feces or semen of an infected person enters an uninfected persons blood stream through cuts, scrapes, punctures, abrasions or tiny breaks in the skin. Read on to learn how to protect yourself from HIV/AIDS.
Things Youll Need
- Medical latex or non-latex gloves
- Fresh needles or syringes
Tips & Warnings
- You cant get AIDS through casual contact such as shaking hands, giving a hug or sharing a meal, nor can you get AIDS from being bitten by a mosquito that has bitten someone with AIDS, swimming in the same pool as someone with HIV/AIDS or using the toilet after someone with HIV has used it.
- While traces of HIV have been found in saliva, sweat and tears, there is no evidence that the disease has ever been spread through contact with these bodily fluids. Thus, it is safe to dry the tears of a crying friend with HIV.
Protect Yourself From Hiv/aids
HIV and AIDS in South Carolina
- In South Carolina, almost 15,000 of your neighbors including about 200 children and teens are living with HIV infection or AIDS.
- Throughout the United States, more than 1 million residents are living with HIV or AIDS, and nearly one-fifth do not know they have it.
- Each year, more than 56,000 new cases are diagnosed. An estimated 600,000 U.S. citizens have already died from the virus.*
- Worldwide, more than 60 million people, including millions of children, have been infected since the early 1980s. As many as 25 million people have died from AIDS.**
*U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.** Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
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Are Hiv Medicines Used At Other Times To Prevent Hiv Transmission
Yes, HIV medicines are also used for post-exposure prophylaxis and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
- Post-exposure prophylaxis PEP means taking HIV medicines within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV to prevent HIV infection. PEP should be used only in emergency situations. It is not meant for regular use by people who may be exposed to HIV frequently. For more information, read the ClinicalInfo fact sheet on Post-Exposure Prophylaxis .
- Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV Pregnant women with HIV take HIV medicines for their own health and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. After birth, babies born to women with HIV receive HIV medicine to protect them from infection with any HIV that may have passed from mother to child during childbirth. For more information, read the ClinicalInfo fact sheet on Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV.
Things You Can Do To Protect Yourselfand Your Loved Onesfrom Hiv
Condoms aren’t the only way to stay safe.
More than a million Americans aged 13 and older are currently living with human immunodeficiency virus , and nearly 39,000 are newly diagnosed with HIV each year, according to the Center for Disease Control .
While the number of people living with HIV may seem astronomical, the number of new diagnoses has actually been stable since 2012, thanks to advances in the world of HIV prevention. Improved education has also played a role in stabilizing ratespeople now know more about keeping themselves safe than ever before.
These factors are literally saving lives. While HIV isnt deadly when it’s diagnosed and treated in time, if the virus develops into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , it can be. Serious infections, called opportunistic infections , can arise when a person has AIDS, and ultimately its these AIDS-related illnesses that claim an estimated 16,350 lives per year in the U.S.
The best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and help decrease the overall rate of HIV infections? Brush up on these basics of HIV prevention.
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How Should I Know My Hiv+ Partner Cares About Me
If your HIV positive partner cares about you, they will tell you about their HIV status. They will also encourage you to go for a test.
Once you go for a test and you find that you are HIV negative, talk to your physician about PreP and other methods of prevention. But if the test result comes out positive, get treatment as soon as possible and talk to your doctor on what else you can do to stay healthy.
How Is Transmission In The Workplace Prevented
The Centers for Disease Control recommend using routine practices to protect workers at risk from HIV exposure. This approach stresses that all situations involving contact with blood and certain other body fluids present a risk. Routine practices outline the use of barriers to prevent workplace exposure to HIV and other viruses. These barriers include the use of:
- engineering controls such as retractable needles
- safe work practices and administrative controls
- protective equipment such as gloves, gowns or aprons, masks, and protective eye wear.
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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.
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.
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Treatment For Stis When Protection Fails
It is always best to prevent STIs by practicing safer sex. But sometimes these methods fail. Condoms can break, or clients can refuse to use them.
STIs that are not treated quickly can lead to serious illness and even death.
Get early treatment
If you think you have been exposed to an STI, early treatment can prevent the infection from getting worse. STIs that are not treated quickly can lead to serious illness and even death.
If possible, have regular exams for STIs. If you are having signs of an STI discharge or bleeding from your vagina, pain or sores on your genitals, or pain in your lower bellysee a health worker trained to treat STIs as soon as possible. Even if you have no signs of infection, go to a health center or clinic at least once a month for treatment if you have unsafe sex often. If you use condoms every time you have sex, you may need to visit a health center less often.
Since you probably do not know what STIs you have been exposed to, you should be treated for as many as possible. Different antibiotics can treat different STIs, so you may need to take several medicines at once. Remember, no medicine can cure HIV. See the chapter on Sexually Transmitted Infections and Other Infections of the Genitals for information about how to treat STIs.
Testing for HIV
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Effective Ways To Prevent Hiv/aids
The human immunodeficiency virus destroys immune cells which fight infection. This makes it difficult for your body to fight off infections and certain kinds of cancer. Without proper treatment, an HIV infection can progress to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS, a stage where your immune system is seriously damaged and you get a number of severe illnesses known as opportunistic infections.1
HIV spreads through contact with body fluids like blood, semen, pre-seminal fluids, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids, or breast milk from an infected person. In the United States, this virus is mostly spread by having sex with or sharing syringes or other injection equipment with someone who is infected. It can also be transmitted from a mother to her child during the course of the pregnancy, while breastfeeding, or during childbirth.2 Although the number of people being infected with HIV has been declining, it still remains a cause of concern with thousands of new cases being diagnosed every year.3 But take heart, there are things you can do to protect yourself from this dangerous infection.
Here are some ways to keep yourself safe.
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Ask Your Doctor About Prep
There are currently two types of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, drugs on the market: Truvada and Descovy. Both are taken once daily and can dramatically reduce the risk of acquiring HIV from sex and among people who inject drugs, according to the CDC.
If youre at risk for getting HIV, definitely talk to your doctor to see if either drug is right for you. Men whove had anal sex with another man without a condom in the past six months, injection drug users, and heterosexual men and women who do not regularly use condoms with partners of unknown HIV status are all considered to be high risk, per the CDC.
How Can I Make Sure I Dont Give Hiv To Anyone During Sex
If you find out that you have HIV, try to stay calm. People living with HIV can have normal, healthy relationships and sex lives. But its important to take precautions to help your partner stay HIV-free.
There are a few ways that you can avoid giving HIV to other people:
Always use condoms when you have vaginal and anal sex.
Start treatment for HIV as soon as possible, and keep taking your HIV medicine. When you take it correctly, HIV treatment can lower or even stop your chances of spreading the virus to your sexual partners .
Theres a daily pill your partner can take to lower the risk of getting HIV, called PrEP.
Dont share needles for shooting drugs, piercings, or tattoos.
Get tested and treated for other STDs besides HIV regularly. Having other STDs makes it easier for you to spread HIV to others.
If you test positive for HIV, its important to tell your sexual partners about it so they can be tested, too. Even if youre really careful to not spread HIV, be honest with your future partners about your status so you can both be informed and help each other stay healthy. Read more about talking with your partners about HIV.
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Know Your Partners Viral Load Count
For ART to be effective, your partner has to take the medication every day, at the same time each day. Skipping doses can cause the virus to replicate unchecked and possibly mutate into a form thats resistant to the medication. If that occurs, your partners viral load count may increase, which means there is a greater likelihood that the virus can be transmitted to you.
Encourage your partner to get their viral load tested at least twice a year, if not more often. If the results demonstrate undetectable levels of HIV, then Its pretty safe ,â says Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH, associate division chief of the division of HIV, infectious diseases, and global medicine at University of California, San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital.
If I Inject Drugs What Should I Know About Hiv Transmission
Since HIV and hepatitis C are blood-borne viruses , any direct blood-to-blood contact is a risk for HIV and hepatitis C transmission.
Sharing needles or works presents a significant risk for transmitting these blood-borne viruses. Whenever possible, it is best for each person to use their own needles and works.
Needle exchange sites have been set up to trade in used needles and get new ones. There are five state-funded Needle Exchange Sites in the following Massachusetts cities and towns: Boston, Cambridge, Holyoke, Northampton, and Provincetown.
If you are not near a Needle Exchange site, or cannot get to one, there is another way to get clean syringes. The Massachusetts Pharmacy Access Bill allows individuals 18 and older to purchase needles at a pharmacy without a doctors prescription.
Proper disposal of used needles is important as well. Used needles should not be disposed of in the garbage since this creates a risk for anyone handling the trash who may get stuck by an infected needle. Sharps containers are heavy-duty containers used for disposal of needles, and can be acquired through some pharmacies. If a sharps container is not available, an empty plastic liquid detergent or bleach bottle can be used as well. These should then be turned into a designated needle disposal site.
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What Are Hiv And Aids
- HIV is a virus that attacks and weakens a person’s immune system. The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body and fight off germs and diseases.
- If the immune system of an HIV-positive person gets so weak that it can no longer fight off a range of health problems it would normally be able to cope with, the person is considered to have AIDS.
- HIV can be passed from person to person through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk and other body fluids. It can happen:
- When a person has sex with someone who has the HIV virus and they do not use a condom
- When people exchange infected needles or syringes
- During pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding, when an HIV-positive mom can pass the virus to her baby .