HIV and AIDS are a frightening reality in today’s world. While researchers have made leaps and bounds in the way people with HIV are medically treated and have even managed to slow its progression, there is still no cure or vaccination for AIDS. While it is often a frightening prospect for many to take the initiative to get tested, if you want to protect your health and the health of your partner, it’s important to know your status.
There are more than 40 million people living with HIV or AIDs. In the U.S. alone about 1 million people are infected. If you find that you are infected, there are many new medications and treatments available to help keep you healthier longer. If you are not infected with HIV, here are some important ways to keep it that way.
Make sure, if getting a tattoo, that all needles and tools are sterilized
If a previous recipient of a tattoo was infected with HIV, you can unknowingly become infected while getting your tattoo if the equipment is not properly sterilized.
Avoid sharing razors
Because razors often come in contact with blood, sharing personal items like these which could carry an infected person’s blood is a habit you should avoid altogether.
Use Protection During Intercourse of any Kind
Anal, oral and vaginal intercourse are all actions that can result in the spread of HIV. Unprotected sex is very dangerous since HIV can be spread through semen as well as blood exchange.
Ways HIV Cannot be Spread
Hugging, kissing on the cheek or coming in contact with the infected person’s sweat cannot spread HIV infection. Open mouth kissing an HIV positive person poses a risk of infection however. The virus does not spread through saliva alone, but if there is a cut or open sore in the mouth, blood exchange could occur.
Through Sharing Common Public Areas
Using common shared community spaces, like public toilets or swimming pools, is not known to spread the infection.