Viral diseases are dangerous! From the novel coronavirus to Ebola, you can tell how fatal these diseases are. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), HIV/AIDs is among the top killer viral diseases in the world. While this disease has been with us for decades, the rate of spread is still at a worrying level. Unlike the Covid-19, which is contagious, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is always easy to contain. HIV is spread through the exchange of body fluids such as blood, vaginal fluids, or semen with an infected person. With that in mind, there are several ways you can always use to prevent HIV. These include the following:
For individuals who are sexually active, the best method to prevent HIV transmission is using the barrier method during sex. Sexual intercourse often involves the exchange of body fluids. In order to prevent this, you can always wear latex condoms during a sexual encounter. The good thing is that condoms exist both for males and females. It is also advisable to keep the condom lubricated using lube to avoid chances of breaking or falling off. More importantly, you need to wear the condom appropriately to reduce inefficiency.
Use Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
PrEP is a medication that is taken by mouth before and after having sexual intercourse. They work by lowering your risk of contracting the virus. Taking PrEP is a prevention strategy that’s aimed to reduce infection transmission in high-risk communities. Besides having a positive sexual partner, PrEP medications are also recommended for people in monogamous relationships or injecting themselves with unsterilized needles. Also, suppose you accidentally/intentionally inject yourself with sharp objects, your chances of being exposed to the virus. In that case, you can visit your doctor immediately for a rapid antibody test or opt for virtual order PrEP medication.
Avoid Sharing Sharp Objects
If you share sharp objects such as needles, syringes, and blades with an infected person, then the risk of you catching the virus is high. HIV virus doesn’t survive outside the human body for long. However, you should avoid immediate sharing of these objects. Note that you aren’t safe even if you do this on a single occasion. In a nutshell, if you want to prevent HIV, you should refrain from sharing sharp-cutting objects with other people.
Reduce Mother-To-Child Transmission
Practicing safe delivery options can help reduce mother-to-child transmission. Usually, a positive mother can deliver a healthy baby. But this can only happen when the mother practices safe delivery options given by the doctor. When the baby is born healthily, they still risk getting the virus through breastfeeding. If the maternal viral load is high, then it’s advisable to avoid breastfeeding at all costs. In that case, the mother can replace the child’s food with commercial infant formula or animal milk.
HIV/AIDS is a disease that still doesn’t have a cure nor a vaccine. However, while research still continues in the labs, the only available containment measure is to prevent its infection in the first place. That said, the above-mentioned strategies are some of the best and most effective prevention measures one can take to remain safe.