HIV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections that can be avoided. The condition can only be transmitted through sharing body fluids, mostly during sexual intercourse. Although the condition is tough to cure when advanced, Stone Mountain Oasis Healthcare Service, Inc. specialists can help you know how to avoid it. Besides, prevention is greater than cure. HIV prevention goes beyond knowing the rules. You must take the extra steps of understanding the condition and knowing how it is transmitted to understand how to stay safe. The following secrets can help you.
Understand the Risks Involved
Getting facts straight is the best way to start HIV prevention. Knowing what situations or activities set you up at risk is crucial. First, the baseline is that HIV is commonly spread by coming into intimate contact with blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk, rectal fluid, or pre seminal fluid. The infection is mainly spread through vaginal sex, annal sex, or sharing of needles. Sometimes, a mother can spread the infection to their child during pregnancy or lactation. However, kissing, sharing utensils, touching body fluids, mosquito bites, and drinking fountains do not spread HIV. Ensure you evaluate your activities that can increase your chances of HIV infection
Use Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
Medical advancements have made it possible to decrease your chances of getting HIV through medication. Your doctor can give you a daily dose of antiretroviral medications, which have effectively provided up to 99% protection against HIV infection. Additionally, a new PrEP option is administered as an injection every two months, eliminating the need for a daily pill. Talking to your doctor about the PrEP options as far as you are sexually active is important.
The use of condoms seems obvious, but many people still underestimate it. It remains one of the most effective and unique protections that can simultaneously prevent STDs like HIV and unwanted pregnancy. No other strategy can achieve these. Many people get lax when using condoms and risk exposing themselves to HIV. Fortunately, condoms for both the penis (external) and vagina (internal) are available, and all you need is to discuss them with your partner.
No More Sharing Needles
Research has found the rate of HIV infections to be higher among those who inject drugs. First, drug abuse can make you make irrational decisions putting you at greater risk of HIV infections. As mentioned earlier, needle sharing is one common means of spreading the infection, but it can be avoided. It puts you at risk of infection and your partner. Several governmental programs can help you learn how to quit drug abuse and also educate you about the safe use of needles if necessary. Talk to your doctor for help.
Prevention After Exposure
Being exposed to HIV is not the end. You still have chances to protect yourself and avoid getting the infection when you act fast. Talk to your doctor as soon as you have had condomless sex or engaged in other activities you think might have exposed you to the infection. Your provider can help you through post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) drugs. The medications work best when started within the first 72 hours of exposure or earlier. The earlier you seek help after exposure, the better.
HIV is highly preventable. Get in touch with the Oasis Healthcare Services specialists for more information. Make a call or use the online platform to seek an HIV consultation appointment to learn better if you think you are exposed to the infection.