How To Use Condoms Most Effectively
How do you use condoms most effectively? The trick is to use them consistently and correctly every time you have sex. That doesnt mean you should give up hope if you fail to use a condom once. You can always do better the next time. STIs arent transmitted every time you have sex, so its always worthwhile to use protection.
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.
Serologic Testing For Hiv Infection
A person is identified as infected with HIV when a sequence of tests, starting with repeated enzyme immunoassays and including a Western blot or similar, more specific assay, are repeatedly reactive. Persons infected with HIV usually develop antibody against the virus within 6-12 weeks after infection.
The sensitivity of the currently licensed EIA tests is at least 99% when they are performed under optimal laboratory conditions on serum specimens from persons infected for 12 weeks. Optimal laboratory conditions include the use of reliable reagents, provision of continuing education of personnel, quality control of procedures, and participation in performance-evaluation programs. Given this performance, the probability of a false-negative test is remote except during the first several weeks after infection, before detectable antibody is present. The proportion of infected persons with a false-negative test attributed to absence of antibody in the early stages of infection is dependent on both the incidence and prevalence of HIV infection in a population .
patient diagnosis and management, and
counseling and serologic testing to prevent and control HIV transmission in the community.
In addition, more recent recommendations have stated that hospitals, in conjunction with state and local health departments, should periodically determine the prevalence of HIV infection among patients from age groups at highest risk of infection.
Testing of Health-Care Workers
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If I Have Hiv How Can I Keep From Spreading It To Others
The best ways to keep from spreading HIV to others are many of the same ways you use to protect yourself:
- Let sexual partners and anyone you inject drugs with know that you have HIV.
- Follow your treatment plan and dont miss medications. If you have an undetectable viral load, you greatly reduce the risk of transmitting HIV through sex.
- Talk to your sexual partner about taking PrEP.
- Wear condoms for vaginal, anal and oral sex even if you have an undetectable viral load.
- Dont share needles or other equipment to inject drugs.
- Limit the number of sexual partners you have.
- If youre pregnant and have HIV, following your treatment plan, including ART medications, can reduce your risk of transmitting the virus to your child.
What We Know About Monogamy
If you and your partner are both HIV-negative and dont have any sexually transmitted diseases , agreeing to be in a monogamous relationship can decrease your chances of getting HIV and other STDs. But monogamy works only if both partners are certain theyre HIV-negative and stay monogamous.
More Information If youre just beginning a monogamous relationship, its important for both of you to be tested for HIV.
If both you and your partner have HIV, agreeing to be in a monogamous relationship can decrease your chances of getting other STDs or transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative sex partner.
More Information You may not always know if your partner is having sex outside of the relationship or doing other things to increase the risk for getting HIV or other STDs. Having open and honest communication with your partner is important.
If youre in a monogamous relationship with someone who has a different HIV status than you, it is important that the partner with HIV take medicine to treat HIV as prescribed. If the partner with HIV takes their HIV medicine as prescribed and gets and keeps an undetectable viral load, they will not get or transmit HIV through sex. If the partner with HIV has a detectable viral load, its important to know that the overall chance of getting or transmitting HIV increases the more times you have sex. Your risk for getting or transmitting HIV is also affected by whether you or your partner has another STD.
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Stay Away From Illegal Drugs
Youâre at high risk for HIV if you share needles or syringes with others. The safest thing to do is to not share needles. Use only new, sterile needles. Some drugstores even sell them without a prescription. If you canât get fresh needles, you can clean used needles with bleach, but you still have a chance of getting HIV from them. Though injected illegal drugs are the most dangerous, any type of recreational drug use can raise your risk. This is because they lower your inhibitions and make it more likely youâll have unprotected sex. This raises your chances of getting HIV. If you do use drugs, always carry condoms.
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.
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Important Things To Know About Prep
Before starting PrEP, your doctor will check your health and organise some tests at your first appointment including:
- an HIV test
- kidney and liver function tests.
You will also receive information about how to reduce your risk of acquiring HIV.
PrEP must be taken as prescribed for maximum effective protection.
Dolutegravir Warning For Pep
CDC currently recommends that prior to starting PEP all women of childbearing potential should have a pregnancy test performed.
The use of dolutegravir may pose risks for neural tube defects in pregnancy. Health care providers prescribing PEP should avoid use of DTG for:
- Non-pregnant women of childbearing potential who are sexually active or have been sexually assaulted and who are not using an effective birth control method and,
- Pregnant women early in pregnancy since the risk of an unborn infant developing a neural tube defect is during the first 28 days.
The preferred PEP regimen for these women is raltegravir, tenofovir, and emtricitabine. However, individual circumstances may dictate consideration of alternatives . If the PEP regimen for a non-pregnant woman of childbearing potential must include DTG, she should use an effective birth control method until the PEP regimen is completed.
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Can Medications Prevent Hiv
There are medications that can help prevent HIV in people who have been exposed or are at high risk for exposure. These include pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis .
PrEP is a pill you take every day if you dont have HIV but are at high risk of getting infected.
Specifically, its recommended that you take PrEP if you dont have HIV, if you have had anal or vaginal sex in the past six months and at least one of the following is true:
- You have a sexual partner with HIV.
- You havent consistently used a condom.
- In the past six months, youve been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease .
PrEP is also recommended if you dont have HIV, you inject drugs and at least one of the following is true:
- You inject drugs with a partner who has HIV.
- You share needles or other equipment to inject drugs.
PrEP is not a replacement for other preventative measures. You should still use condoms and avoid sharing needles to inject drugs while taking PrEP.
PEP uses HIV medicines to try to prevent an HIV infection soon after you are exposed. PEP is for those who dont have HIV or dont know if they have HIV and think theyve been exposed through consensual sex, sexual assault, shared needles , or work.
You must start PEP within 72 hours of exposure and take it every day for 28 days. PEP is only for emergency use and does not replace other precautions, like condom use.
Are There Any Other Hiv Prevention Options
There are many easy and effective ways to prevent HIV. Other than PrEP, HIV transmission can also be prevented by:
- Using condoms with water or silicone-based lubricant during anal or vaginal sex.
- Although there is a low risk of HIV transmission during oral sex, using male condoms on penises or dental dams on vulvas and anuses. This can also help to reduce the risk of other STIs from being passed on.
- Using clean, sterile injecting equipment.
- Achieving and maintaining undetectable HIV viral loads if you are HIV-positive by taking HIV antiretroviral treatment as prescribed.
- Getting regular sexual health checks.
- Taking post-exposure prophylaxis if you have potentially been exposed to HIV.
Depending on your risk factors and life circumstances, you may be more suited to other HIV prevention methods. It is important to find the right prevention method, or combination of methods, that works for you and your sexual partners.
Speak to your GP or sexual health clinician for more information.
has more information on PrEP.
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Is It Ok To Switch Between Daily Prep And On
On-demand PrEP is only for cis-gender MSM. Other individuals are not eligible for on-demand PrEP because studies have not demonstrated that it is effective for other populations. Before switching from daily PrEP to on-demand PrEP, or vice versa, a cis-gender MSM should consult with their healthcare provider.
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Hiv
The best way to reduce your risk of HIV is to be aware of how it spreads and protect yourself during certain activities. Having sex without a condom and sharing needles to take drugs are the most common ways that HIV spreads.
These are some ways to reduce your risk:
- Use latex condoms whenever you have any type of sex .
- Don’t use condoms made from animal products .
- Use water-based lubricants .
- Never share needles to take drugs.
- Get tested and treated for other STDs. Other STDs can put you at higher risk for an HIV infection.
- Avoid getting drunk or high. Intoxicated people might be less likely to protect themselves.
- If you are at high risk of HIV exposure, ask your healthcare provider if you should be taking pre-exposure prophylaxis .
- If you think youve been exposed to HIV, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible to see if you should take post-exposure prophylaxis .
- Consider getting tested to know if you can pass HIV to others.
It’s important to use a condom correctly to protect yourself against HIV. Use a male condom for any sex act that involves your penis.
You can also protect the vagina or anus with dental dams or internal condoms. Dental dams are flat pieces of polyurethane or latex that you can put over your vagina or anus if you are having oral sex. An internal condom can be used by insertion into your vagina or anus.
You should only use one type of condom at a time. Do not use both a male condom and an internal condom.
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Protect Yourself From Hiv/aids
FREE HIV testing on June 27 at select Walgreens locations and FREE HIV, HCV and STI testing on June 28th at most local health department clinics. Please call to schedule an appointment. for a list of HIV, STD, Hepatitis C, and PrEP providers.
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
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 Are The Risk Factors For Hiv
- Engaging in unprotected anal, vaginal, or oral sex, especially with multiple partners or anonymous partners
- Having sex in exchange for drugs or money
- Sharing needles and other equipment for injecting drugs
Of risks associated with different sex practices, receptive anal intercourse rates the highest because the lining of the anus is thin, allowing HIV to enter the body followed by insertive anal intercourse and receptive penile-vaginal intercourse, according to the CDC.
Is There A Safe Way To Share Needles
Needle SafetyThe only way to completely avoid potential transmission of blood-borne illnesses when injecting drugs is by not sharing needles. If people do share needles, cleaning the needles and works properly with bleach and water before and after each person uses them will help reduce the risk.
How Do I Clean My Used Needles?
The most effective way to sterilize used syringes is the 3x3x3 method:
If bleach isnt available, you can use soap and clean water, or even just water to clean your works. ANY steps you take to clean syringes before use will reduce your risk of HIV and hepatitis C transmission.
Where can I get clean needles/syringes?Prior to September 2006 the only way to acquire clean needles in Massachusetts was via a prescription or through a needle exchange programs. As a result of the Pharmacy Access Bill, it is now legal for pharmacies to sell medical syringes over the counter without a prescription. Anyone 18 or older can purchase clean needles at many pharmacies in Massachusetts. They are relatively inexpensive. Although pharmacies are allowed to sell syringes, they are not required to do so. A phone call to the pharmacy in advance can save a trip to the drug store.
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How Often Do Condoms Break
Figures for the frequency of condoms breaking, slipping off or leaking vary widely between studies. In Sanders review , between 0.8 and 41% of participants had ever experienced a condom breaking. While a few studies report much higher rates, the breakage rate per sexual act in most studies was between 0 and 4%.
For example, a recent American study of 8603 men who have sex with men found that 4% of participants reported a condom breaking the last time they used one. There was no difference between men reporting receptive or insertive sex, but younger men, men who had more sexual partners and men who were high when they had sex were more likely to experience a breakage.
Up to a third of men report problems with the fit and feel of condoms, which are in turn associated with condoms breaking or slipping off. Choosing a condom that is an appropriate size for the penis reduces the risk of breakage.
Who Is At Risk Of Hiv Infection
Anyone can become infected with HIV. In the United States at large and in Washington State specifically, men who have sex with other men account for most people living with HIV and most new cases of HIV. Women who have sex with men, men who have sex with women only, and people who inject drugs make up smaller but significant proportions of the HIV epidemic. African-Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV black men who have sex with men and transgender women have some of the highest rates of new HIV infections.
Very few infants are born with HIV in the U.S. today however, there are many young adults living with HIV today who acquired HIV from their mothers, particularly before availability of HIV medications and widespread HIV testing during pregnancy helped to reduce rates of maternal-to-child transmission.
About 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the US about 12,000 people are living with HIV in Washington State and about 7,500 people are living with HIV in King County .
Anyone who has condomless, receptive anal or vaginal intercourse or who injects drugs is at risk for acquiring HIV.
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