You are here: Home Managing Your ... How To Prevent ... How To Prevent ...
Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

How To Prevent Transmission of HIV and Other STDs

How To Prevent Transmitting HIV If You Are HIV Positive

Next » « Previous



The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following:

  • Avoid practices that increase the likelihood of blood contact, such as sharing of razors and toothbrushes.
  • Needles and other sharp instruments should be used only when medically necessary and handled according to recommendations for health-care settings. For example, do not put caps back on needles by hand or remove needles from syringes. Dispose of needles in puncture-proof containers out of the reach of children and visitors.
  • Hands and other parts of the body should be washed immediately after contact with blood or other body fluids.
  • Surfaces soiled with blood should be disinfected appropriately.

Make sure that anyone that comes in contact with you, including caregivers, act appropriately.

  • Gloves should be worn during contact with blood or other body fluids that could possibly contain visible blood, such as urine, feces, or vomit. (Inexpensive latex gloves are available at drug stores).
  • Cuts, sores, or breaks on both the caregiver's and patient's exposed skin should be covered with bandages.


There is no known risk of HIV transmission to co-workers, clients, or consumers from contact at work - even in industries such as food-service establishments.

Food-service workers
All food-service workers should follow recommended standards and practices of good personal hygiene and food sanitation.

Healthcare Workers
All health care workers should follow CDC recommended standards to prevent infection transmission. To learn more,

Personal service workers
All personal service workers such as hairdressers, barbers, cosmetologists, and massage therapists should follow CDC recommended guidelines, including the same cleaning procedures that are recommended for health care institutions. To learn more, see:

Instruments that are intended to penetrate the skin
Instruments that are intended to penetrate the skin (such as tattooing and acupuncture needles, ear piercing devices) should be used once and disposed of or thoroughly cleaned and sterilized. 

Instruments not intended to penetrate the skin but which may become contaminated with blood 
Instruments not intended to penetrate the skin but which may become contaminated with blood (for example, razors) should be used for only one client and disposed of or thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each use.


When sharing drugs, it is advisable not to share equipment.

If you do share, always use a clean needle or syringe. (For example, clean with bleach). For information about How To Clean Injecting Drug Works,click here.

If cost is an issue, check to find out if a government entity such as the city, county or state has a clean needle program that provides needles and syringes for free or for low cost. To find need exchange programs by state, see the website of the North American Syringe Exchange Network: offsite link.

If there is no program, find out if you live in a state in which you can purchase needles/syringes over the counter. If not, perhaps your doctor will write you a prescription.


HIV transmission from mother to child during pregnancy, labor and delivery, or breast feeding has the medical name "perinatal transmission."

During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the risk of transmitting HIV to the baby can be substantially lowered by the use of antiretroviral drugs such as zidovudine (ZDT) which is marketed in the United States as Retrovir.

Antiretroviral drugs can be given during pregnancy.

When to start (if at all) depends on a combination of factors including the mother's health and possible side effects to her, the risk of passing HIV to the baby, and the possibility of the drugs causing harm to the baby.


At the least, antiretrovirals are given to the mother when labor starts. 

The baby is also given a small dose of antiretrovirals soon after birth.


There is a greater risk that HIV will be transmitted from a mother to her baby in natural childbirth than in a Caeserian-section ("C-Section") birth. With a C-Section, the baby is protected against direct contact with the mother's blood and other bodily fluids.

Recent research indicates that for many women who take antiretroviral combination therapy during pregnancy, having a C-Section isn't a significant factor in preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to baby.

Breast Feeding

HIV is found in breast milk. Even a mother who has taken antiretroviral drugs can pass HIV to the baby through breastfeeding.  Of course, this can be prevented by not breast feeding and instead using safe breast milk substitutes (formula).

While it may seem counterintuitive, it appears that the risk from breast feeding can be reduced by using a technique referred to as "exclusive feeding." With this technique, the baby is solely breastfed. Mixing is avoided. For example, a breastfed baby is not given formula, glucose water or traditional medicine.

Kissing and Hugging

HIV cannot be passed to your child by kissing or hugging.

If you are pregnant and HIV positiveConsult your doctor or other health care provider as soon as you can to assure you engage in the safest practices for you and your child.


See the next section.

Please share how this information is useful to you. 0 Comments


Post a Comment Have something to add to this topic? Contact Us.

Characters remaining:

  • Allowed markup: <a> <i> <b> <em> <u> <s> <strong> <code> <pre> <p>
    All other tags will be stripped.