World AIDS Day: Simple HIV prevention guide

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus, typically known as HIV, is a life-threatening virus that attacks the immune system of the humans. It specifically damages the CD4 cells (T cells) and weakens the body against a variety of infections and diseases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared HIV as a global public health issue as it has claimed almost 32 million lives till date. Luckily, the authorities have worked over the period of time for increasing the access to effective HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. This has eventually made it a manageable condition as HIV positive people can now live a healthy and longer life.

According to a report by WHO, nearly 37.9 million people were living with HIV at the end of the year 2018. However, the treatment is still inaccessible to a large population that eventually resulted in almost 7.7 lakh HIV-related deaths and 1.7 million new cases around the world.

How does HIV spread?

HIV can spread from one person to another through body fluids like blood, semen, pre-seminal fluids, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. According to medical experts, HIV transmission possibly occurs when these fluids come in contact with the mucous membrane or a damaged tissue. In many cases, HIV virus may spread if the person is injected with an infected syringe or a needle. Furthermore, it can also occur if a person has unprotected sex with an HIV positive partner.

Preventive tips to stay away from HIV transmission

Sadly, the consistent efforts of renowned medical researchers and pharma manufacturing companies to find an effective vaccine (to stop HIV transmission) have remained unsuccessful. Thus, people are always advised to take certain preventive measures in order to avoid unfortunate circumstances.

Here are some important preventive measures that can keep one protected against HIV transmission:

Get yourself and your partner tested for HIV

First and foremost, it is supremely important for people to discuss about HIV testing with their respective partners before having sex. According to medical experts, learning about the status of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) of the partner can safeguard people against HIV transmission.

Don’t have unprotected sex

Unprotected sex is one of the primary causes of HIV transmission in the world. Thus, people are advised to use condoms during sexual (anal or vaginal) intercourse. Furthermore, they should also learn about the appropriate ways of using a condom.

Limit the number of sexual partners

The more sexual partners one has, the more are the chances of getting infected with HIV virus. Thus, people are always suggested to have an exclusive sexual relationship, possibly with one partner only.

Never share needles

This is another significant cause that can lead to HIV transmission. According to medical experts, HIV is transmitted through blood and can be contracted with contaminated materials.

In case people get exposed to HIV transmission, they are advised to seek medical help immediately. Medical experts may suggest them with medications and pharmaceutical products that can help them manage their condition. Moreover, people can also attend counselling sessions with medical experts for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for reducing the risk of contracting HIV.

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