HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), is a type of virus that deliberately attacks the body’s immune system. It aims to weaken the body’s ability to fight off infection, making the person susceptible to more complications. Most of the time, it is acquired by having unprotected intercourse with an HIV positive person. However, several HIV prevention methods have proven to be effective in avoiding the virus. A healthy immune system, which you can achieve through a balanced diet and regular exercise can have a huge impact on your overall health care. Visit Health on 21 Medical Centre for more information on HIV possible treatments.
Basic Facts About HIV
When you get infected by HIV, the initial thing that would happen is that the virus will attack your white blood cells, leaving you unprotected from viruses and diseases. The occurrence of symptoms will vary, some may show signs in the early stage, while others can live for a long period of time without even exhibiting any symptoms.
While there are various HIV prevention methods to follow, sadly, the rate of HIV positive population keeps on rising. What’s bothersome about this is that it is gradually infecting the younger generation as well. Before we discuss the ways to prevent HIV, let us first find out the basic facts about it.
- It silently attacks human cells leaving the infected individual open for all kinds of diseases. Once your cells get infected, your body will lose its capability to protect you from other infections.
- The virus can be transmitted in several ways like unprotected intercourse, blood transfusion, sharing needles with an infected person, and can be transmitted from a mother to a baby.
- About 35 million people around the world are HIV positive.
- Because of its silent movement, 1 out of 6 people with HIV is unaware of their condition.
- It has caused the death of around 30 million people worldwide since 1981.
- 3.3 million children are infected since the beginning of 2012.
- 70% of the worldwide rate of HIV positive people came from sub-Saharan Africa, which also includes 91% of the HIV positive children.
- A huge rate of infected people is gay and bisexual men.
- As of 2014, there is still no certain cure for HIV.
- Most infected people do not have access to health care, treatments, and prevention.
- The most common gender infected by HIV is men. They occupy at least 74% of the total rate.
- Every 10 minutes, a new person gets infected by the virus.
Effective HIV Prevention Methods
You can get infected by HIV through blood contact or body fluids. Oftentimes, these are contracted during sexual intercourse. Most people learn about having sex at a certain point in their lives so it’s important to know how to do it safely to prevent HIV from spreading.
Maintain your health care and avoid HIV by following the tips below:
- Know and understand the risks. It is important to be well aware of the activities that could put your health at risk. In order to avoid HIV, do some research and know-how you, as an individual could get infected.
- PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is highly recommended to individuals with a very active sex lifestyle with multiple partners. This is an effective prevention method the reduces the risk of getting infected.
- If you are HIV positive, stay undetectable. Being undetectable means that you can longer transmit the virus to your partner. In short, when the virus is fully suppressed, having anal, vaginal, and oral sex can be deemed safe.
- Use protection. Using condoms is the most effective way to prevent HIV. In addition to this, condoms are also used as protection to prevent unplanned pregnancy and other sexually transmitted infections.
- You can still get pregnant without passing the virus to your baby. Just make sure to fully commit to antiretroviral therapy. This will also prevent you from infecting your partner.
- Pregnant HIV positive people can prevent HIV through pre-natal care.
- Do not share needles. A huge number of HIV positive people are drug users who rely on syringes. In fact, about 40% of the total rate believed to have come from sharing needles.
- Get tested. As mentioned, HIV silently attacks your cells, you might be infected for several years and still be completely unaware of the virus in your body. The best way to fight it off is by getting tested.
- Avoid multiple partners. The risk of getting HIV gets higher every time you have sex with different partners. try to be monogamous and avoid jumping from one partner to another.
- Get vaccinated. As of this writing, the vaccine for HIV has not been discovered yet. However, you can get vaccines for STI’s like hepatitis B and HPV.
- For women, douching, or cleaning the vagina using other fluids mixed with water can cause many health problems. This cleaning method is not recommended since it will remove some good bacteria in your vagina that protects you from getting infected.
- Use a lubricant. Lubricants are used to enhance the sexual experience and boost pleasure. This lube can make your sexual intercourse safer since it will prevent the risk of vaginal tears caused by dryness. It also helps in keeping the condom safe to use.
HIV is a kind of virus that cannot be treated at the moment. Generally speaking, once you are diagnosed with it, you live for the rest of your life with the virus.
Fortunately, HIV can be managed through antiretroviral therapy. A method used by modern medical professionals to suppress the virus and stop it from spreading in the body. The treatment involves taking HIV medicines every day to fight off the virus.
This medication is eagerly recommended to people once they’re diagnosed with the virus. Antiretroviral therapy cannot cure HIV per se, but it can help the individual have a normal and healthier life despite being infected.
The main purpose of the treatment is to reduce the load of the virus in the infected person’s body until it becomes undetectable. Once the virus in the blood becomes too low to be detected, the infected person can have safe sex with their partner without transmitting the virus.