How To Prevent HIV/AIDS?
It spreads through different bodily fluids, such as blood, semen, breast milk, vaginal and anal fluids. HIV transfers from one body to another by means of unprotected sexual contact, injection use, and blood transfusions. Although there is no cure for the infection, treatments are available to relieve and fight the virus in the form of antiretroviral drugs.
The development of antiretroviral therapy makes it easier to treat HIV. It involves the use of antiretroviral drugs that prevent the virus from multiplying. It also inhibits the further spread of the infection throughout the body. While treatment is very accessible today, preventing the condition from happening is still the best practice.
How to prevent HIV/AIDS
Here are seven simple steps on how to prevent HIV/AIDS:
Get the facts straight – One of the essential factors in preventing the said infection is learning about its risks. It helps a lot to recognize how the virus transmits or spreads. Start by understanding its mode of transmission and the different forms of activities that make you susceptible to the virus.
Take PrEP medication – Known as Pre-exposure prophylaxis, PrEP is a type of medication that prevents HIV acquisition. It is also an antiretroviral drug that lowers the risk of getting HIV by 99%. Healthcare professionals recommend PrEP for individuals who are at high risk of infection, including men who have sex with fellow men (MSM) and couples (in which one partner is HIV-positive). There are three approved PrEP drugs today, such as Truvada, Descovy, and Apretude.
Use protective barriers – One of the most common forms of protective barriers for safer sex is a condom. Besides its capacity to prevent pregnancy, it is widely used to inhibit HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. When using condoms, only choose latex, polyurethane, and polyisoprene brands. They are most effective at preventing HIV transmission. Additionally, use a water-based lubricant to avoid irritation during sexual intercourse.
Do not share needles – Sharing needles comes second to unprotected sex when it comes to the high rates of HIV transmission. Studies report that over 50% of people with HIV got the infection through the irresponsible use of shared needles or syringes. It mainly involves those who inject drugs and share the equipment with others, not knowing that it has been contaminated with HIV.
Remain undetectable – Also known as untransmissible, this method involves having an undetectable viral load. Note that if a person has HIV, their viral load is high, and their risk of spreading the infection is towering. However, if you remain undetectable, you cannot pass the virus to other people.
Prevent mother-to-child transmission – This step involves the use of antiretroviral therapy to lessen the risk of transmitting the infection to the infant. HIV-positive mothers should follow routine screening at the start of their pregnancy and take the prescribed antiretroviral drug to suppress the virus.
Take PEP – If you suspect getting the virus, you can take PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) medication. This treatment follows a 28-day course and helps avert HIV infection. If you take PEP early, there is a high chance of preventing the virus from threatening your body and health.
The Kangaroo Takeaway
Sometimes, it takes discipline to avoid causing your health any harm. With HIV, you are susceptible to experiencing the most severe health complications. Even if antiretroviral drugs are available to treat the infection, it is always better to prevent it from happening. If you are active in any form of sexual activity and also engage in injection drug use, seek medical advice on how you can prevent HIV better. Talk to your doctor today and know your risk for the infection.
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