HIV is a disease that can be life-threatening. Prevention is better than cure, here are ways to prevent HIV you can apply.
Understanding how HIV is transmitted and how to prevent HIV will help you proactively protect yourself against this dangerous disease. Let’s find out 5 ways of preventing HIV/AIDS in this article!
What is HIV/AIDS?
HIV stands for Human Immuno-deficiency Virus – a virus that causes human immunodeficiency virus, which causes severe damage to the body’s immune system.
AIDS is an acronym for Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome – the last stage of HIV disease. In the stage of AIDS, the body’s immune system is weakened, so the patient is more susceptible to diseases such as cancer, bacterial infections, etc.
How HIV is transmitted?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the spread and acquisition of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has increased over the past few decades. This disease remains a prominent medical problem worldwide. The high mortality and infection rates show that it is important to raise awareness of the disease among people to prevent the spread of the virus.
To know how to prevent HIV, you must first understand how the HIV virus spreads. HIV is only transmitted through body fluids, such as: blood, vaginal secretions, semen, breast milk.
HIV does not survive long outside the human body (such as on surfaces), and it cannot reproduce outside the body. In addition, HIV is not transmitted through routes such as:
Mosquitoes, ticks or other insect bites
Saliva, tears, and sweat that do not mix with the blood of an HIV-positive person
Hugs, shakes hands, shares toilets, shares food, or social kisses
Sexual activities that do not involve the exchange of bodily fluids (eg, touch).
As the viral load of a person infected with HIV decreases, the likelihood of transmission of the disease also decreases. People who have HIV but they are taking antiretroviral therapy, eg antiretroviral drugs, and have very low or undetectable viral loads, are less likely to get HIV than people who have HIV and have a low viral load. high virus.
However, a person with HIV can still transmit HIV to a sexual partner even if they have an undetectable viral load, because:
- HIV can still be found in genital fluids (semen, vaginal fluids). Viral load tests only measure the virus in the blood.
- A person’s viral load can increase between tests. When this happens, they may be more likely to pass HIV on to their sexual partners.
- Sexually transmitted diseases increase the viral load in the genital fluids.
3 common routes of HIV infection
To apply ways to prevent HIV, you need to understand the common transmission routes of this disease. These include:
Blood and HIV transmission
HIV is usually spread through blood.
In the past, blood collected from an infected blood donor was the most likely source of transmission of the disease. As a result, screening measures and thorough blood testing prior to transfusion have become stricter since 1985. Every bag of donated blood is tested for HIV.
If there is an HIV-positive reaction, these blood bags are discarded. Although there are many safety measures, there is also a small risk that HIV-infected blood can still be used in a blood transfusion.
Sharing needles and syringes also carries a risk of HIV transmission.
You can get HIV through a bite, or contact with bodily fluids (including semen or saliva), but the odds are small.
Risk of HIV transmission through sex
You are at high risk of contracting HIV by having sex with someone who has HIV.
Both anal and vaginal sex can transmit HIV, especially when having sex without a condom. All forms of oral sex are considered low risk. However, HIV can still be transmitted through oral sex, especially when there is ejaculation in the mouth while the mouth is open.
Passed from mother to child
In addition to blood and genital secretions, HIV is also transmitted from mother to baby during childbirth or breastfeeding. Women with HIV should not breastfeed because HIV can be transmitted through breast milk. In addition, HIV can also be transmitted to the baby if the infected mother chews the food first and then offers it to the baby, although the risk is quite low.
AIDS is the final stage of HIV. This is a virus that causes human immunodeficiency virus, which damages the body’s defense system. Antiretroviral drugs for HIV can reduce the risk of disease transmission by all different routes. However, this method is not completely effective and you should use some other methods to absolutely prevent infection.
Don’t assume that people with no symptoms don’t have HIV. People can be infected with HIV for many years before symptoms start, and during that asymptomatic period they can still spread the disease.
Manifestations of HIV/AIDS through 4 stages
Primary infection (window period): This period lasts from 2 to 6 months. During this time, the body is completely normal. HIV tests can be negative. Therefore, people with HIV can easily pass it on to others if they have unprotected sex.
Asymptomatic HIV infection stage: This stage lasts from 5-7 years. This stage does not cause any common symptoms, but when tested, it will give a positive result.
Near AIDS stage: There are still no specific symptoms, and the test results are positive.
AIDS stage: There are manifestations such as: Thinness (loss of more than 10% of body weight); fever, diarrhea, and cough lasting more than 1 month. There are many accompanying diseases such as cancer, pneumonia, tuberculosis, skin inflammation, and body sores,… Patients quickly die depending on care and treatment conditions.
5 ways of preventing HIV/AIDS
Do not inject and use drugs
The first thing to prevent HIV/AIDS infection is not to use drugs and stimulants. These substances affect your ability to think and act, making you more likely to engage in unsafe behaviors that increase your risk of HIV infection. Some drugs, like intravenous drugs, can also increase the risk of HIV infection because these drugs come into direct contact with the blood.
Safe sex to prevent HIV/AIDS
Safe sex is sex using a condom. If you have sex with someone who has HIV, it’s important to practice safe sex and get tested for HIV regularly. However, you should keep in mind that having sex with a condom does not completely eliminate the risk of HIV transmission 100% because the condom can be punctured or you use it incorrectly.
Talk to your partner or partner about your past sexual partners. Understanding this can help both of you prevent risks and take proactive steps to prevent HIV. You can take a combination of medicine (tenofovir plus emtricitabine) every day to help stop HIV infection. It can reduce your risk of getting HIV, but it’s expensive, and even if you take it, you must practice safe sex.
How to prevent HIV: Do not share needles
Needles can easily carry HIV from one person to another. You should not use injectable drugs that are not provided by medical facilities with fully sterilized equipment.
HIV prevention: Avoid touching other people’s blood and other body fluids
You never know for sure if someone has HIV. Therefore, avoid touching other people’s blood if possible and also avoid contact with other body fluids that can spread HIV. Those bodily fluids include:
- Vaginal discharge;
- Rectal mucosa;
- Mother milk;
- Amniotic fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, and synovial fluid in the knee joint.
Treating HIV while you’re pregnant
All pregnant women get a blood test to check if they have HIV. This test is a required part of prenatal screening. If left untreated, HIV can be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. Treatment during pregnancy significantly reduces the risk of HIV transmission to the baby.
Preparing yourself with some knowledge about HIV is the best HIV prevention you can take. It also helps you live happily and safely with people living with HIV.
Top News hopes this article can help you learn more about effective ways of preventing HIV/AIDS and always keeping yourself safe and healthy!
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