HIV Prevention, Beyond the Pills
Written By Lexi Masek, 23 July, 2021
Although PrEP, PEP, and antiviral therapy (ART) have shown effectiveness in preventing the transmission of HIV, there are other ways to reduce the risk.
Sexual activities that do not involve contact with body fluids (semen, vaginal fluid, or blood) and oral sex are less risky and have little to no risk of HIV transmission. Deciding not to have sex (abstinence) is 100% effective in preventing HIV transmission.
If you are participating in sexual activities, using condoms properly is highly effective in preventing HIV and other STDs. Latex condoms provide the best protection against HIV. Natural membrane condoms have small holes in them and don’t block HIV or other STDs and should not be used for HIV prevention.
Getting tested and treated for other STDs can lower your chances of getting HIV.
For those who inject drugs, never share needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment and use new, clean syringes every time you inject. If drug injection equipment is shared, disinfecting a syringe can reduce the risk of HIV transmission; however, it is still not as effective as using a new syringe.
Syringe service programs are community-based prevention programs that provide services such as access and disposal of sterile syringes and ejection equipment.
The best way to prevent getting HIV through injection drug use is to decide not to inject drugs.