AIDS Prevention Tips

Avert, an international AIDS charity, states that HIV and AIDS prevention proves vital for those who have already become infected with the virus, as well as those who present a risk for infection. While treatment with antiretroviral medications allows people with AIDS to live longer, happier lives, prevention can reduce the need for these medications.

Begin With Testing

HIV testing provides one of the most important steps you can take on the road of prevention. To effectively prevent spreading this disease you must know if you have become HIV-positive. This enables you to take the precautions necessary to protect all the people on your life.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states there are a variety of HIV tests available which U.S. government has approved. Aside from the medical facilities that offer this testing, such as health clinics, doctor’s offices and hospitals, home kits are available as well.

Abstinence

The CDC recommends abstaining from sex of any type until you know your partner’s HIV status and remain in a monogamous relationship. If you and your partner are both free of the virus, and stay faithful to one another, you can reduce your risk of contracting AIDS.

Male Circumcision

The National Institutes of Health performed a study in 2006 in Kenya which showed that a medically performed circumcision significantly reduced a man’s chances of contracting HIV via heterosexual intercourse. This study showed a 53 percent reduction of HIV infection in HIV-negative men versus men who were uncircumcised.

The Mayo Clinic states that this study not only proved a way to reduce transmission in men, but that it may also reduce transmission among women in areas where the primary reason for transmission is heterosexual intercourse.

Have Safe Sex

This proves especially important for those who know they are infected with HIV. As the Mayo Clinic states, practicing save sex remains the only absolute way to prevent the spread of this disease. Not only does this mean using a latex condom, it also means using a condom or plastic wrap when participating in oral sex.

Do not share sexual devices, and protect yourself when you have intercourse with another HIV-positive person. Drug-resistant strains of the virus exist, and having unprotected intercourse with another infected person can increase the risk of either acquiring or passing this disease on.

About this Author

Based in Jamestown, Pa., Hannah Rice Myers has more than 10 years of experience as a freelance writer, specializing in the health industry. Many of her articles have appeared in newspapers, as well as “Curing Epilepsy: Hope Through Research.” Rice received her master’s degree in nursing from Upstate Medical University in 2001.