World AIDS Day 2021: Precautions to prevent transmission of HIV while engaging in sexual activity

Some common ways through which HIV spreads are unprotected sex (sex without a condom or HIV medicine) or through sharing a piece of injection equipment with an HIV-positive patient.

FP Trending December 01, 2021 06:30:38 IST
World AIDS Day 2021: Precautions to prevent transmission of HIV while engaging in sexual activity

Representational image. PTI

World AIDS Day is observed on 1 December every year to raise awareness about Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which is a major public health issue. The day was first observed in the year 1988 and is an opportunity for people to unite in fighting against the virus, supporting those living with HIV, and knowing facts on how to protect themselves.

Some common ways through which HIV spreads are unprotected sex (sex without a condom or HIV medicine) or through sharing a piece of injection equipment with an HIV-positive patient.

If you are living with HIV, you can engage in sexual activity by taking precautions to prevent transmission through these methods:

  • Ensure to get regular check-ups and begin your treatment for HIV. Taking Anti-retroviral therapy help to reduce infection levels in the body. Also keep a check of Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) by monitoring your penis and vaginal discharges.
  • Talk to your partner and tell them about the situation. Ensure that both of you take necessary precautions.
  • Using a latex male or female condom is effective in preventing both HIV transmission and STDs. However, abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent sexual transmission.
  • Drugs such as Pre-exposure prophylaxis can be taken by people who are HIV negative, in order to reduce the risk of contracting HIV. Post-exposure prophylaxis is another drug that can be consumed to reduce the risk of infection after exposure. The drug has to be taken within 72 hours of the exposure.
  • HIV does not spread through touching, through urine or through saliva. Oral sex, masturbation and erogenous play are other sexual methods that carry little to no risk of HIV transmission.
  • There is a very low risk of contracting HIV through oral sex, but in order to make it safer and avoid getting the bacterial infection in the mouth, always use a latex barrier such as a non-lubricated condom or a dental dam.
  • Cuts and abrasions near vaginas, rectums and the penis can cause the virus to enter one's body. Hence, keep a proper check on them too and avoid intercourse if there is a risk. Barrier methods such as damns and condoms along with using lube can reduce the risk of cuts around sensitive areas.
  • Use water-based lubes instead of oil lubes because it can result in condom ripping or a condom tear.
  • Remember to consult a doctor for your problems and talk to them about prevention methods.

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