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Can HIV be prevented?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
HIV can usually be prevented by using latex, polyisoprene, or polyurethane condoms during sexual activity. Women can use the female condom. A dental dam can be used for protection with oral sex. Do not have unprotected sex unless you are in a relationship with a person who you know for certain is HIV negative. Circumcised men have a lower risk of acquiring HIV. If your are an intravenous drug user, do not share needles. Get tested on a regular basis, especially if you are in a high risk group or if you have had unprotected sex with someone you do not know. If you are in a high-risk group, ask your doctor about pre-exposure prophilaxis (PrEP) -- this is not a vaccine, but it is a drug that can help lower your risk. If you had a blood transfusion in another country and you are not sure if the blood supply is screened, get tested. Avoid contact with any bodily fluids where there is a possibility of contracting HIV. This includes blood, breast milk, semen, and vaginal secretions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.