Sexual activity is the most likely way to become infected with HIV. People infected with HIV may not look sick. There is no way to tell if your partner has HIV without having been tested. Take precautions when engaging in intercourse or any other sexual act that results in an exchange of body fluids.
Avoid having sexual relationships with people who are HIV-positive or use injected drugs.
In addition, being
may also reduce the risk of HIV.
Do Not Share Needles or Syringes
Using a needle or syringe contaminated with HIV-infected blood can cause you to become infected. Do not share needles with anyone.
Remember that people may not even be aware that they have HIV.
Use Appropriate Safety Precautions for Healthcare Workers or Caregivers
HIV is transmitted through infected blood and body fluids. When caring for patients:
Wear appropriate gloves and facial masks during all procedures or when handling bodily fluids.
Carefully handle and properly dispose of needles.
Carefully follow universal precautions.
Cover all cuts and sores (yours and the HIV-infected person's) with bandages.
Donate Your Own Blood for Elective Surgical Procedures
Blood products are screened for HIV, but there is still a small risk because tests cannot detect HIV immediately after transmission. To reduce your risk of contracting HIV through blood products, consider donating your own blood for elective surgical procedures.
To Prevent Spreading HIV to Others
To prevent spreading HIV to others if you are HIV infected:
Abstain from sex.
If you do have sex, use a male latex condom. This includes any sexual act that results in the exchange of bodily fluids.
If you are prescribed medicines, be sure that you are taking them.
Inform former or potential sexual partners.
Do not donate blood or organs.
Ask your doctor about contraception.
If you do wish to become pregnant, talk to your doctor. There are ways to lower your baby's risk of being born infected with HIV.
HIV/AIDS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
. Updated September 2008. Accessed September 25, 2008.
HIV/AIDS. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at:
. Accessed September 25, 2008.
Noble J, Greene HL.
Textbook of Primary Care Medicine
. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Inc; 2000.
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2005;2:e298. Epub Oct 25, 2005.
Bailey RC, Moses S, Parker CB, et al. Male circumcision for HIV prevention in young men in Kisumu, Kenya: a randomised controlled trial.
2007 Feb 24;369:643-656.
Gray RH, Kigozi G, Serwadda D, et al. Male circumcision for HIV prevention in men in Rakai, Uganda: a randomised trial.
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6/11/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: Del Romero J, Castilla J, Hernando V, Rodríguez C, García S. Combined antiretroviral treatment and heterosexual transmission of HIV-1: cross sectional and prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2010:c2205.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a