How can someone reduce the risk of being infected with HIV?

HIV infection can be prevented in several different ways:

  • Choose not to have sex, or make an agreement with a partner who is HIV-negative to be sexually faithful to each other.
  • Always use a condom for vaginal or anal sex, and barrier methods, such as a condom or dental dam, for oral sex. Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing HIV transmission.
  • If someone or their partner is HIV-positive, they should talk with their health care provider about how to reduce their risk.
  • If someone is HIV-positive and pregnant, they need to see their health care provider for appropriate treatment. Treatments are available to significantly reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy and delivery.
  • Do not share needles or syringes for any kind of injection drug use, including heroin, "meth", steroids, etc. Also, refrain from sharing needles for piercings and tattoos, which can be done by going to reputable businesses for such services.
  • Seek regular HIV testing and ask partners to do the same. Asking a partner to get tested may be awkward for some individuals, but it ultimately allows both partners to maintain healthy lifestyles.

Show All Answers

1. What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
2. What is an Opportunistic Infection (OI)?
3. Where did HIV come from?
4. How is someone infected with HIV?
5. Can I get HIV from casual contact with someone who is infected?
6. How can someone reduce the risk of being infected with HIV?
7. How does someone know if they are infected with HIV?
8. What are the symptoms of HIV infection?
9. Is there a cure for HIV?
10. Does everyone who has HIV eventually develop AIDS?
11. Where should someone begin if they want to get HIV care?
12. When should someone start taking HIV treatment?
13. How much does HIV care cost?
14. If someone is diagnosed with AIDS, does that mean they will die soon?
15. If someone is HIV positive, what else can they do to stay healthy?