How To Prevent HIV

The possibility of contracting the Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can be reduced with the help of preventative measures. Untreated HIV will deteriorate the immune system and lead to AIDS and early death. It can also increase the risk of transmission to others. Broadly speaking, the life expectancy of HIV-positive individuals without treatment can be around 8 to 10 years.    

When a person gets exposed to HIV, their immune system kicks into gear and starts attacking the antigens. It does so by producing antibodies that fight off HIV and prevent its multiplication. The rapid growth and multiplication of the virus leads to the weakening of the immune system. By the time HIV reaches the last stage, which is AIDS, the immune system has suffered extreme damage. 

Antiretroviral treatment (ART) is a treatment for HIV, which reduces immune system damage and decreases the chances of HIV transmission. However, “prevention is better than cure” is a proverb that encourages everyone to implement preventative techniques and remain careful always. In this blog, you shall become aware of the basic methods that will prevent the risk of contracting HIV.  

Get an HIV test done

HIV spreads when the HIV-negative person gets exposed to the body fluids of an HIV-positive person. The body fluids of an HIV-positive person are the carriers of the deadly virus. These body fluids can be blood, urine, semen, vaginal secretion, and rectal fluid. Any contact with the body fluids of the HIV-infected person will lead to the transmission of this deadly disease.

You must get yourself tested for HIV. In the initial stage after contracting, the virus may not give an indication. It grows and develops after some time. During the first stage, the virus starts multiplying aggressively, which causes the person to develop flu-like symptoms. The symptoms are very common, so one might not even realize that they have contracted HIV. This can increase the transmission of it.  

Getting tested for HIV and knowing the status is necessary for keeping yourself and your partner completely safe from the infection. In case the result turns out to be positive, you can seek timely treatment to prevent it from worsening your condition and spreading it to your partner.

Avoid risky sexual behaviors

Sexual activity involves the exchange of body fluids, mainly semen and vaginal secretion. When an HIV-positive person engages in anal or vaginal sex with an HIV-negative person without using any kind of protection, then the HIV-negative person gets contracted with HIV. Also, such risky sexual behaviors potentiate the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially after making sexual contact with an anonymous person. Therefore, try to behave responsibly, and avoid having sexual contact with strangers you come across, as there is a high chance that they might have some infection that can get you in trouble for a lifetime.   

Avoid sexual contact with multiple partners  

Having more than one sexual partner can increase your exposure to this deadly infection. You never know, having sexual contact with someone, especially a stranger, can get you in trouble by causing the transmission of some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that can ruin your life.

Always use protection

In case you have more than one sexual partner, then whenever you have sex, always use condoms for protection. This will prevent the transmission of HIV and several other types of sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, and others. Condoms are the best barrier methods, which can prevent the transmission of STIs efficiently. One must learn the right way to use the protection.

Get tested for STIs  

HIV is a sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, etc. In case you have contracted any of the STIs, then your likelihood of being HIV-positive will be quite high. It is necessary to get tested for HIV and other STIs before it’s too late. Early treatment will reduce the risk of health damage and prevent the spreading of the disease to your partner(s).

Think about taking PrEP

Preexposure prophylaxis or PrEP is a medication that can reduce the risk of getting HIV among individuals that are more likely to be exposed to HIV from having unprotected sex or via sharing of drug injection with an HIV-positive individual. These medications can help with the prevention of HIV to a great extent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the possibility of risk aversion of HIV with PrEP medication is 99%. You must talk to your healthcare provider to get PrEP treatment.

Never share your medical equipment  

Do not reuse the medical equipment of others. Always make sure the equipment is absolutely clean and sterilized because the risk of spreading infections is very high in such cases. Moreover, do not share your drugs, injections, needles, etc. with another, as the chances of a stranger being HIV-positive or having an STI are high.

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