HIV was identified as the cause of AIDS in 1983. Since then, we’ve learned a great deal about how it can be transmitted and prevented. Today, many tools are available to prevent HIV transmission. Keep reading to find out more.
Here are ways to prevent HIV:
Get tested. Approximately 13% of people living with HIV in the United States don’t know they have the virus. Know your status to protect your health—and your partner. Click here for more information about HIV testing.
Use prophylactics. When used correctly and consistently, prophylactics and lubricant can greatly reduce the risk of HIV and other STIs. Click here for more info on other ways to be safe during intimate relations.
Use pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP refers to antiretroviral medication used by an HIV-negative person to reduce the risk of contracting HIV. Click here for more about PrEP and click here for a list of approved options for HIV prevention.
Take post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP involves taking a short course of antiretroviral medications, usually for a month, after a high-risk exposure. Click here for more about PEP.
Get on HIV treatment. People living with HIV who maintain an undetectable viral load (also known as viral suppression) do not transmit the virus via sex, a concept known as Undetectable Equals Untransmittable, or U=U. Click here for more info about U=U.
Reduce needle use risks. Never share syringes or other “works.” If unused syringe equipment is not available, be sure to clean shared syringes and other works with bleach and water. Click here for more info.
Reduce mother-to-child transmission. If you’re pregnant—or are thinking of starting a family—get tested for HIV. If you’re positive, good prenatal care, including the use of HIV meds by the mother, can reduce the risk of passing the virus on to the baby to 2% or less. Click here for more on preventing mother-to-child transmission.
Looking for more tips? Click here for 8 additional tips for taking PrEP.
Do you know how HIV is transmitted? Click here to take the quiz and find out!