Since there is still no cure found for a dangerous infection such as HIV and the disease that it often leads to, with that being AIDS, all that we are left with is prevention. At this point, to prevent HIV and AIDS is the only thing that we can do in order to reduce the high number of new HIV cases.
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), around 75 million people have been infected with HIV, with approximately 32 million people on an international level dying from this horrible infection. And to think that all of this could be avoided with the effective prevention methods towards which we have been strongly encouraged over the years.
How to prevent HIV?
Please remind yourself and your close ones to take the necessary steps to protect themselves against HIV. The following list contains some effective prevention methods that all of us are encouraged to pursue.
- Practice safe sex – HIV, like any other STD (sexually transmitted disease) is most commonly transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Although the best prevention method for HIV and any other STD is abstinence, practicing safe sex does serve as a good prevention method as well.
- Get tested for HIV – It is very important for each and every one of us to be aware of our sexual health status. Please do get tested for HIV at least once a year, and even more often, if you are involved in sex work, have multiple sex partners, are a man engaging in sex with other men, etc. Getting tested is also very important during pregnancy since HIV can be easily transmitted to the baby in the womb.
- Getting treated for HIV – Although there is still no cure for HIV/AIDS, treatment is very important in cases when an HIV infection has been discovered. Following your HIV/AIDS treatment and practicing safe sex can help reduce the risk of spreading the infection.
- Telling your partner that you are HIV positive – Once you have discovered that you are HIV positive, it is very important to tell any past and future partners of yours, with whom you have been in an intimate relationship or even a relationship that may have included as little as kissing. They would need to get tested for HIV as well as soon as possible and get to treating the infection.
- Do not share needles – If you are a drug user who uses needles to inject drugs, do consider using a new, sterile needle that you will not share with anyone else as a prevention method for HIV/AIDS.
- Consider PEP – PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. It has been suggested that PEP can help lower the risk of contracting HIV in cases where the individual has been exposed to this dangerous infection. If you are unsure about whether or not you have been exposed to HIV, talk to your doctor about PEP as soon as possible.
Getting tested and doing whatever you can in order to prevent HIV/AIDS is the only way that you can efficiently avoid contracting this serious infection and the disease that follows with it. Unfortunately, this is still a topic of whose importance many people are still not aware of, and we are bound to lower the number of new HIV/AIDS cases only by sharing the common prevention methods with as many people as possible.