What are the 7 ways to prevent HIV?

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HIV is a virus that weakens the body’s immune system. Our immune system is our body’s defense against disease and illness, so when it is weakened we are more likely to get sick. However, with lifelong treatment and care, people living with HIV can now live long and happy lives.

How is HIV transmitted?

HIV is transmitted through five bodily fluids:

  • Semen (including pre-cum)
  • Vaginal fluid
  • Rectal fluid
  • Breastmilk
  • Some blood

Usually, HIV is spread through anal or vaginal sex or by sharing needles or other drug-related equipment.

Seven ways to avoid contracting HIV

External (sometimes called male) and internal (sometimes called female) condoms help prevent the transmission of HIV and other STIs. This is because condoms prevent semen, vaginal and rectal fluid from being transmitted to or from a partner. Therefore, if you use a condom every time you have sex, you lower your chances of getting HIV.

However, you need to use condoms the right way. This means that if you have sex with more than one person at a time, you should use a new condom every time you change partners. Also, if you are sharing a sex toy, be sure to use a new condom on the toy for each partner.

It is also crucial to store condoms at room temperature and to check their expiration date before use. Also, if you must use a lubricant, be sure to use a water-based or silicone-based lubricant, as an oil-based lubricant can break the condom.

  • Using new equipment for drug use

By using new equipment every time you use drugs there is no chance that you will get HIV or hepatitis C. This means that when you inject drugs you use new needles, syringes, syringes, etc. filters, warmers, alcohol swabs, tourniquets, acidifiers and water. every time. Likewise, when snorting or smoking drugs, you should also use new pipes and straws every time. Fortunately, many communities have places where you can get needles and other drug use equipment free of charge. In addition, some communities offer supervised consumption sites, where you can inject yourself under the supervision of a healthcare worker or peer. These sites will provide you with the equipment you need, as well as supervision to avoid overdoses.

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. These are drugs that HIV-negative people use to prevent them from getting HIV. Usually you take PrEP before and after coming into contact with HIV.

PrEP should be prescribed by a healthcare professional and is usually taken every day for a prescribed period of time. In addition, anyone prescribed a PrEP medication should see a doctor or nurse every three months for HIV testing, STI testing and side effect monitoring, as well as ongoing support. . PrEP is covered by most private insurance companies, and PrEP in Canada is sometimes also covered by provincial health insurance.

PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis and is a drug that is taken after possible exposure to HIV. For example, you might take PEP if your condom breaks during sex. PEP is most effective when taken as soon as possible after exposure. It means within 72 hours. You will then need to take PEP medication regularly for 28 days.

Not all sexual contact carries the same risk of transmitting HIV. Oral sex, for example, has little or no chance of transmitting HIV. Other forms of sex that present virtually no risk of transmission are fingering, mutual masturbation, handjobs, raps, kissing, and unshared sex toys. That being said, STIs can still be transmitted through some of these forms of sex.

  • Limit your sexual partners

The more sexual partners you have, the more likely you are to have a partner with poorly controlled HIV or a partner with an STD. These factors can increase the risk of transmitting HIV.

  • Get tested and have your partners tested

Knowing your HIV status and that of your partner can help you make wise choices about your sexual activity. Additionally, in addition to being tested for HIV, you should also be tested for STDs. This is because when you have an STD it increases your chances of getting HIV.

Summary

The only 100% foolproof way to prevent the transmission of HIV is to abstain from sex and drugs. However, most people will not give up pleasure even with the risk of contracting an illness. Therefore, instead of abstinence, taking preventative measures is the way to go. These measures include using condoms, using new equipment when injecting or inhaling drugs, obtaining a prescription for PrEP or PEP, and choosing the types of sex that are not appropriate. ’cause the transmission of HIV. You would also benefit from knowing your and your partner’s HIV status, and getting yourself and your partner tested regularly.


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