HIV does not discriminate! If you have unprotected sex and you and your partner don’t know your HIV status you are putting yourself at risk. Anyone can get HIV, however, there are precautions you can take to reduce your risk and protect yourself from HIV.
HIV can only be spread by particular body fluids from a person with HIV. These include blood, semen and breastmilk, however can also be passed on by reusing needles. In the USA, HIV is mainly passed on by having unprotected sex and sharing needles.
- To reduce your risk of getting HIV, use condoms (safely and correctly) EVERYTIME you have sex, this could be vaginal, oral or anal. Sex is the most common way that HIV is passed on.
- #KnowYourStatus and know your partners status BEFORE you have unprotected sex. Talk about HIV (and other STI’s) with your partner and start to normalise the conversation. You can go to a sexual health clinic and know your results within a week or you can now test yourself in the comfort of your own home with no questions asked.
- Get tested (or test yourself) regularly! This is critical, even though you may have got a negative result 6 months ago this could now be a different result. You should retest with every sexual partner as nobody is immune to HIV!
- Do not inject drugs! But if you are going to definitely do not inject drugs with a used needle. Only use sterile drug equipment and never share a needle with other people. This is the second most common way that HIV is transmitted.
HIV is not a sentence, you can live a long, healthy and happy life as long as you know your status! One tablet a day can reduce your viral load to undetectable which means you would not pass the virus on. #KnowYourStatus and do not google your symptoms!
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