HIV infection - Prevention
Human immunodeficiency virus infection
- Avoid injecting illicit drugs. If you use injected drugs, avoid sharing needles or syringes. Always use new needles. (Boiling or cleaning them with alcohol does not guarantee that they're sterile and safe.)
- Avoid oral, vaginal, or anal contact with semen from HIV-infected people.
- Avoid unprotected anal intercourse, since it causes small tears in the rectal tissues, through which HIV in an infected partner's semen may enter directly into the other partner's blood.
- If you have sex with people who use injected drugs, always use condoms.
- If you have sex with many people or with people who have multiple partners, always use condoms.
- People with AIDS or who have had positive HIV antibody tests can pass the disease on to others. They should not donate blood, plasma, body organs, or sperm. They should not exchange genital fluids during sexual activity.
- Safer sex behaviors may reduce the risk of getting the infection. There is still a slight risk of getting the infection even if you practice "safe sex" by using condoms. Abstinence is the only sure way to prevent sexual transmission of the virus.
- Use protection when having sexual contact with people you know or suspect of being infected with HIV. Even better, use protection for ALL sexual contact.
- Reviewed last on: 6/9/2011
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Piot P. Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome: A global overview. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 407.
Del Rio C, Curran JW. Epidemiology and prevention of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and human immunodeficiency virus infection. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 118.
Sterling TR, Chaisson RE. General clinical manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus infection (including the acute retroviral syndrome and oral, cutaenous, renal, ocular, metabolic, and cardiac diseases. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 121.
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