When it comes to preventing HIV, protecting yourself is key. There are so many tools available that can help you protect yourself from getting HIV as well as protecting others. We’re sharing a few simple precautions you can take to lower your risk, protect yourself, and prevent getting HIV
Today, we have access to many options and tools to prevent HIV as well as spreading HIV. While, of course, one of the main ways to protect yourself against HIV is abstinence, there are a number of other other tools and lifestyle changes you can make as well.
- Limit your sexual partners. This simple precaution can greatly reduce the chances of getting HIV as you’re reducing your possible chances of exposure. The more sexual partners you have, the more at risk you are to a possible HIV exposure.
- Use condoms correctly. Regardless of how many sexual partners you have, you want to ensure you’re using condoms correctly, every time you have sex. Condoms are extremely effective at protecting against HIV and other STDs. Either male or female condoms can work.
- Never share needles. Whether that’s getting a tattoo, taking medication, or for other uses, never under any circumstances share needles. Each time you inject with needle, blood is transferred. Which means, using the same needle after someone who is infected with HIV puts you at extreme risk of contracting the virus.
- Take advantage of medicines. There are new medications available that can prevent you from being exposed to the HIV virus and to help prevent you from getting HIV after a possible exposure. Become familiar with medications like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). You should speak to your doctor about PrEP if you have a partner who is HIV+ and locate a clinic that provides PEP within 72 hours of a possible HIV exposure.
For more information on protecting yourself and preventing HIV, visit CDC.gov.