As said in our previous article on “Understanding HIV/AIDS”, HIV is transmitted through three channels: sexual contact, blood, mother to infant. Thus prevention involves avoiding the transmission via these 3 channels.
Avoiding sexual transmission
To prevent HIV transmission through sex:
– Correctly use a condom (male / female) in each -vaginal sex with penetration, anal or oral.
– Maintaining relationships with one partner who is not infected and that in turn has sex only with you.
– Sex without penetration: petting, cuddling, games, mutual masturbation, etc.
Do lubricants, spermicides, microbicides help?
It is convenient to use lubricants always in anal intercourse and vaginal intercourse when the woman is not sufficiently lubricated. They facilitate the penetration and reduce the risk of condom breakage.
* Soluble lubricants (such as petroleum jelly, paraffin oils, creams and body lotions, etc.) can not be used with latex condoms because they deteriorate.
* Water soluble lubricants (silicone or glycerin) may be used either as polyurethane latex. They can be found at any drugstore or stores or sex shops. When buying, we must look at the expiration date and if they are medically approved.
Using spermicides does not increase the protection against HIV. On the contrary, some spermicides, if used continuously, can favor the appearance of irritation and vaginal lesions which would increase the risk of transmission.
Theses are vaginal or rectal creams, foams or gels, used to prevent HIV infection, but are not yet sold. They are under investigation.
Preventing transmission via blood
– Do not share equipment for drug use
– Always use sterile equipment: needles, spoons, plugs, filters, etc …
– Sterilize or single use instruments used to puncture the skin: acupuncture needles, tattoos, piercing.
– Do not share personal grooming instruments that come into contact with blood, razors, toothbrushes …
HIV survives a short time outside the body: 90-99% of HIV in a fluid existing outside the organism is inactivated within a few minutes to a few hours. Additionally, heat and chemicals such as bleach pull them out.
First aid measures:
– Wash hands before and immediately after.
– Avoid contact with open wounds, especially if you have wounds on your hands. Use latex gloves.
– Try not to cut with objects that have been cut to someone else.
– Wear gloves and use bleach to clean the blood of the area.
Preventing Vertical Transmission (from mother to infant)
First you have to consult a gynecologist. He is the best adviser to run the minimum risk. The test for HIV is indicated in all pregnant women or considering having a child. There are treatments administered early that greatly decrease the risk of HIV transmission during pregnancy and childbirth. Do not breast-feed the baby if the mother is infected with HIV. An HIV positive woman can legally terminate her pregnancy.