How To Prevent HIV
Learn how to prevent HIV before you become at-risk. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attaches itself to the blood cells of infected people. Many people who are infected may look and act healthy and may not even know they are infected with HIV. HIV attacks a person's immune system and opens the way for opportunity virus to attack the infected person's body.
- Practice Abstinence: Abstinence is the best way to protect yourself from being exposed to HIV. This means to refrain from oral, anal and vaginal sex. The HIV virus cannot be transmitted through casual contact such as hugging, shaking hands or living with someone who has HIV. The virus is found in blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk.
- Get tested: Insist that both you and your sexual partner be tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), before any type of sexual activities. People may often cover up about who or how many others they have been with. The best protection from your partner's previous lover is to be tested before you enjoy your time together.
- Use a condom or sexual barrier: If you do engage in sex, be sure to use a condom or sexual barrier. Though not 100% effective, there are many benefits to using a condom with spermicide or a vaginal shield to prevent most bodily fluids from being exchanged.
- Avoid drugs and needles: Do not share needles with anyone. Blood can be transferred from one person to the next with dirty needles.
- Maintain a mutually monogamous relationship. One of the best way to prevent HIV is to have sex only with one partner. A mutually monogamous relationship, in which both partners have been tested and found negative for HIV infections, is one of the best way to prevent coming in contact with the HIV virus.
- Emergency treatment: If you have been exposed due to rape, exposure to blood at an accident, or a blood transfusion, contact your physician. There are post-treatments available that may be beneficial in preventing HIV.
At one time, HIV was considered a death sentence by way of AIDS infections. Science and medical breakthroughs have helped to extend life of those infected with HIV and to help prevent the spread of the HIV virus. By taking responsibility for yourself and your health, you can prevent HIV from entering into your life.