20% of those infected with HIV don't know it and 33% are diagnosed late in their illness
As most of us know, there's no vaccine to prevent HIV infection and no cure for AIDS. But it's possible to protect yourself and others from infection by staying educated and informed.
AYCSite.com seeks to play a role in AIDS prevention by allowing members to educate themselves about their potential partner's connections in order to make more informed decisions before intimacy.
The Mayo Clinic also offers some excellent tips for AIDS prevention focused on educating yourself about HIV and avoiding any behavior that allows HIV-infected fluids — blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk — into your body.
To help prevent the spread of HIV, you should:
- Use a new condom every time you have sex. If you don't know the HIV status of your partner, use a new condom every time you have anal or vaginal sex. Women can use a female condom. Use only water-based lubricants. Oil-based lubricants can weaken condoms and cause them to break. During oral sex use a condom, dental dam — a piece of medical-grade latex — or plastic wrap.
- Use a clean needle. If you use a needle to inject drugs, make sure it's sterile and don't share it. Take advantage of needle-exchange programs in your community and consider seeking help for your drug use.
- Tell your sexual partners if you have HIV. It's important to tell anyone with whom you've had sex that you're HIV-positive. Your partners need to be tested and to receive medical care if they have the virus. They also need to know their HIV status so that they don't infect others.
- If you're pregnant, get medical care right away. If you're HIV-positive, you may pass the infection to your baby. But if you receive treatment during pregnancy, you can cut your baby's risk by as much as two-thirds.
Source: Mayo Clinic
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