• Reducing Your Risk of AIDS

    Do Not Have Unprotected Sex

    Sexual activity is the most likely way to become infected with HIV . People infected with HIV may not look sick. There is no way to tell if your partner has HIV without having been tested. Take precautions when engaging in intercourse or any other sexual act that results in an exchange of body fluids.
    Suggestions to lower your risk include:
    • Abstain from sex.
    • Use a latex condom and water-based lubricants.
    • Limit your number of sexual partners.
    • Find out the HIV status and HIV risk factors of potential sexual partners.
    • Find out if potential sexual partners have had any sexually transmitted diseases , since these are closely linked to an increased risk for HIV.
    • Avoid having sexual relationships with people who are HIV-positive or use injected drugs.
    In addition, being circumcised may also reduce the risk of HIV.

    Do Not Share Needles or Syringes

    Using a needle or syringe contaminated with HIV-infected blood can cause you to become infected. Do not share needles with anyone. Remember that people may not even be aware that they have HIV.

    Use Appropriate Safety Precautions for Healthcare Workers or Caregivers

    HIV is transmitted through infected blood and body fluids. When caring for patients:
    • Wear appropriate gloves and facial masks during all procedures or when handling bodily fluids.
    • Carefully handle and properly dispose of needles.
    • Carefully follow universal precautions.
    • Cover all cuts and sores (yours and the HIV-infected person's) with bandages.

    Donate Your Own Blood for Elective Surgical Procedures

    Blood products are screened for HIV, but there is still a small risk because tests cannot detect HIV immediately after transmission. To reduce your risk of contracting HIV through blood products, consider donating your own blood for elective surgical procedures.

    To Prevent Spreading HIV to Others

    To prevent spreading HIV to others if you are HIV infected:
    • Abstain from sex.
    • If you do have sex, use a male latex condom. This includes any sexual act that results in the exchange of bodily fluids.
    • If you are prescribed medicines, be sure that you are taking them.
    • Inform former or potential sexual partners.
    • Do not donate blood or organs.
    • Ask your doctor about contraception.
    • If you do wish to become pregnant, talk to your doctor. There are ways to lower your baby's risk of being born infected with HIV.
    • If you have a baby, do not breastfeed.

    References

    Adult male circumcision significantly reduces risk of acquiring HIV. National Institutes of Health website Available at: http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/dec2006/niaid-13.htm . Accessed December 13, 2006.

    Alan R. HIV and AIDS. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated October 2009. Accessed June 4, 2010.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010. MMWR. 2010;59(No. RR-12):1-110.

    Conn HF, Rakel RE. Conn's Current Therapy 2001 . 53rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2001.

    HIV/AIDS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/ . Updated September 2008. Accessed September 25, 2008.

    HIV/AIDS. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/ . Accessed September 25, 2008.

    Noble J, Greene HL. Textbook of Primary Care Medicine . 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Inc; 2000.

    3/8/2007 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Auvert B, Taljaard D, Lagard E, Sobngwi-Tambekou J, Sitta R, Puren A. Randomized, controlled intervention trial of male circumcision for reduction of HIV infection risk: the ANRS 1265 Trial. PLoS Med. 2005;2:e298. Epub Oct 25, 2005. Bailey RC, Moses S, Parker CB, et al. Male circumcision for HIV prevention in young men in Kisumu, Kenya: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2007 Feb 24;369:643-656. Gray RH, Kigozi G, Serwadda D, et al. Male circumcision for HIV prevention in men in Rakai, Uganda: a randomised trial. Lancet. 2007 Feb 24;369:657-666.

    6/11/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Del Romero J, Castilla J, Hernando V, Rodríguez C, García S. Combined antiretroviral treatment and heterosexual transmission of HIV-1: cross sectional and prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2010:c2205.

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    HeartSHAPE® Test Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.