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How To Prevent Transmission of HIV and Other STDs


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HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) pass from one person to another through contact of certain bodily fluids. The transmission from one person to another because of what you do - not who you are.

It only takes one contact to transfer HIV or other STDs to another person.

The three main ways that HIV and other STDs transfer from one person to another are:

  • By engaging in unsafe sex.
  • By sharing drug works.
  • From mother to child.

HIV and other STDs do not transfer through casual contact. They also do not transmit at home or in the work place if proper precautions are followed.

It is particularly important for every sexually active adult living with HIV or who has an STD to know the guidelines for safer sex including how to use (male) condoms, dental dams/plastic wrap and female condoms - and to practice safer sex every time. It is a myth to think that it doesn't matter if you have unsafe sex with another person who is HIV positive or who has a sexually transmitted disease.

It helps to rehearse what to say if a partner objects to using safer sex practices.

If are a pregnant mother or a person who shares drugs, there are also methods for avoiding or minimizing the risk of transmission.

Keep in mind that in some states, knowingly transmitting HIV disease to another person may be subject to criminal penalties. There is also the potential for civil liability such as money damages.

A NOTE ABOUT HIV TRANSMISSION AND TREATMENT: If you are on treatment, and your viral load is undetectable, sveral studies have shown that HIV-infected people on treatment who have fully suppressed the virus rarely transmit it to their sexual partners. However, there is no guarantee that there will be no transmission of the virus. The old adage "it is better to be safe than sorry" is particularly useful to keep in mind.

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