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Prevention Is a Must for HIV: Advice on How To Prevent HIV

Harold Mandel's picture
Symptoms of AIDS

Investigations into the HIV epidemic show that the problem is serious and prevention is a must if you want to avoid this deadly infection.


The HIV epidemic is for real. Aggressive efforts are necessary to prevent HIV.

MedicalXpress reports on findings from PopArt, which is a clinical trial aimed at evaluation of an intervention to achieve universal testing and treatment for HIV, in Zambia. Richard Hayes of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK and his colleagues, have estimated that, after 1 year of this intervention, the proportion of people with HIV who were aware of their infection status had increased from 52 percent to 78 percent among men and from 56 percent to 87 percent among women. Overall there was an increase from 44 percent to 61 percent of people with HIV who were receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART).

There has been progress in the fight against the HIV epidemic

Although there has been progress in the fight against the HIV epidemic, there were about 2.1 million people who got the infection for the first time in 2015. In that same year greater than a million people died from HIV associated illnesses. UNAIDS (the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS), has set "90-90-90" targets to be reached by 2020. The goal here is that 90 percent of people who are infected with HIV should know their status, with 90 percent of people who are diagnosed with HIV infection to be getting ART and 90 percent of people getting treatment should have viral suppression.

Increase in awareness of HIV-positive status has been substantial

PLOS Medicine has published this study. Researchers have found among those who have consented to intervention acceptance of HIV testing has been high. The increase in awareness of HIV-positive status has been substantial. Initiatives are underway to increase the number of infected people on ART.

There has been the observation that women need good jobs to help avoid the sex trade and high HIV rates. It has also been reported consuming soybeans may be beneficial for HIV.

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Mayo Clinic reports there is no vaccine which can prevent HIV infection and there is no cure for AIDS. However you can protect yourself from getting this infection. Efforts must be taken to prevent HIV infected fluids, which include semen, blood, vaginal secretions and breast milk, from getting into your body.

How To Prevent HIV

Good advice to prevent getting HIV is to use a new condom each time you have sex. Certainly if you do not know the HIV status of your partner, a new condom should be used every time you have anal or vaginal sex. There are both male and female condoms available.

Watery based lubricants during sex are preferable. Condoms can be weakened and break from oil based lubricants. A nonlubricated cut-open condom or a dental dam, which is a piece of medical-grade latex, should be used while having oral sex.

If you use a needle for the injection of drugs a clean needle should be used. The needle should be sterile and should not be shared. There are generally needle-exchange programs available in communities along with help for your drug use.

It is important to tell your sexual partners if you are infected with HIV. Your sexual partners should be tested and given medical care if they have HIV. And efforts must be taken to avoid spreading HIV further.

Pregnant women should get medical care immediately. An HIV-positive woman may pass the infection to her baby. With treatment during pregnancy the baby's risk can be lowered significantly. Male circumcision may also help lower a man's risk of getting HIV.

The drug Truvada which is a combination of emtricitabine-tenofovir, may lower the risk of sexually transmitted HIV infection in high risk individuals. Along with other medications Truvada is also prescribed as an HIV treatment.

It is important to become well educated about HIV. Leading a healthy lifestyle which includes only safe sex is a must to help prevent HIV. Also when working in high risk situations in hospitals and medical offices where there can be exposure to infected blood extreme caution should always be taken.