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Published on: 22 Oct 2017 by chuimui
The HIV infection is preventable from a number of practices to reduce the chances of getting it. Below you will find six recommendations that you must take into account to prevent the spread of the HIV virus.
1. Getting tested
It is important that you know how to identify the risk factors for contagion and make a serological test in the laboratory, knowing as soon as possible if you are a carrier contributes to starting an early treatment to prevent progress in the development of AIDS.
In this way, there are different risk factors related to practices and behaviors of the people that can increase the possibilities of the contagion. Among the main factors are: having unprotected sex, sharing infected needles for injecting drugs.
There is also a risk of infection if there is no guarantee of safety with injections or blood transfusions or undergo surgical procedures with instruments that have not been sterilized, although for these reasons have decreased considerably. Likewise, there is a risk for health service personnel, if they inject with needles or instruments that are infected.
Also, be careful with tattooing needles and other instruments that are used to pierce the skin or those with a risk of being cut like razors.
2. Find out about the disease
This implies that you must identify the risk factors for contracting the infection and handle information that is useful to prevent infection. The lack of knowledge about what is and how the virus is spread has led to stigmatizing people with HIV without advancing pedagogical actions on the population, leading to identify ways of contagion and decrease statistics in different countries.
3. Use of condoms during sex
This applies to both men and women. HIV is a sexually transmitted infection; therefore, it is present in blood, semen, vaginal secretions and pre-ejaculatory fluid.
Thus, practicing vaginal, oral or anal penetration without using a male or female condom raises the risk of infection. The latex condom is the most effective barrier method to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
4. Pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylactic treatment
This type of treatment helps to prevent infection of the virus either before or after exposure.
Scientific evidence shows that a healthy person who is at risk of acquiring the virus can take prophylactic treatment prior to exposure. This type of prophylaxis involves taking a specific medication against HIV daily and steadily.
If you have frequent sexual intercourse with a partner who is a carrier of the virus, it is advisable to take this treatment. People who have shared needles to inject drugs should also consider this recommendation.
There is also post-exposure prophylactic treatment, although it is not 100 percent effective. You should take it under medical advice as soon as possible and within 72 hours if you have been exposed to a contagious situation. This type of treatment is taken during the first 28 days of the risk situation, after that time the laboratory test must be performed to know its status.
5. Prevention of mother-to-child transmission
There are a number of measures that help prevent transmission by this route. If you are pregnant and are HIV-positive, it is important that you start antiretroviral treatment as soon as possible with medical supervision, and you may be scheduled for a cesarean section for your child's birth. Also, you must have a test before conception or in the first and third trimester of pregnancy, before delivery; to verify that your child has no risk of infection or is minimized with the use of specific medications during childbirth.
If your baby has acquired the virus, you should start receiving antiretroviral treatment within the first four to six weeks of life and not breastfeed.
6. Male voluntary circumcision
This is a recommendation that comes from the World Health Organization and should be practiced by medical personnel. The foreskin of the penis is susceptible to infection, so when it is removed, it reduces the risk. The figures show that the possibility of infection is reduced by 60% in men who have sex and who have practiced this type of intervention.