5 ways to avoid the risk of HIV infection
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection is a sexually transmitted disease that is a common health concern around the world. From a weakened immune system to neurological issues, the disease can affect health, physical and mental, as well as daily life. Taking preventive measures and seeking early diagnosis and appropriate care can help mitigate the disease risk. Here are a few preventive measures one can take to be better equipped to combat the virus:
Practicing safe sex
The exchange of bodily fluids during intercourse puts one at a greater risk of contracting the disease. The barrier devices are designed to protect both male and female bodies. Apart from this, if a partner has been diagnosed with HIV, one can engage in intimate activities that do not involve sex to reduce the chances of contracting the infection. It is important to communicate and practice safe sex.
Seeking education and awareness
Education plays an important role in preventing HIV transmission. Being aware of the disease, the ways it can spread, and its effects can empower one to make informed decisions. Many schools, community centers, and healthcare facilities run awareness campaigns and educational programs on HIV and promote safe sex practices. This can encourage a culture of openness, understanding, and acceptance. Further, one can look for outreach programs that interact with marginalized populations, such as sex workers and those on the LGBTQ+ spectrum at risk of HIV. They can address unique needs to reduce vulnerability to infection.
Testing and counseling
One can also get tested for sexually transmitted infections. Many healthcare facilities and community centers provide accessible and confidential testing methods. Additionally, if at risk of HIV, one can seek counseling to deal with the infection. Professionals provide emotional support, guidance regarding the best treatment options, and information on strategies to reduce the risk of AIDS. Additionally, expanding the availability of self-testing kits and promoting home testing can increase testing rates and ensure privacy for those who may face difficulties getting tested.
Using sterilized medical equipment
To prevent HIV infection, it is important to avoid high-risk behavior, like reusing medical supplies and inserting prescriptions using unsterilized tools, as this can transmit the virus. One should always use clean, new, and sterilized tools for any test, treatment procedure, or therapy. So, it is best to verify that the health professionals use clean or new medical supplies manufactured by reputed pharmaceutical companies.
Trying preventive therapies
Many therapies for HIV patients reduce the viral load and make the virus less infectious. But healthy individuals can also opt for therapies to reduce the likelihood of transmission. One such option is DESCOVY for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). Suitable for healthy adults and adolescents, this treatment option can lower the chance of contracting HIV through sexual intercourse. It is meant for individuals at risk of HIV who want to stay safe. Following a consultation with a doctor, one can use DESCOVY for PrEP as an effective measure to prevent HIV.