Today, more tools than ever are available to prevent HIV. You can use strategies such as abstinence (not having sex), limiting your number of sexual partners, never sharing needles, and using condoms the right way every time you have sex. You may also be able to take advantage of newer HIV prevention medicines such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
If you have HIV, there are many actions you can take to prevent transmitting it to others. The most important is taking HIV medicine (called antiretroviral therapy, or ART) as prescribed. If you take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load (or stay virally suppressed), you can stay healthy and have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative sex partner.
Condoms and Dental Dams
Using a condom correctly every time you have sex will lower the risk of infection for all STDs. You still can get certains, like herpes, fom contact with your partner’s skin even when using a condom. Dental dams should be used during oral sex.
One Needle, One Syringe, Only One Time
People who inject drugs, hormones, steroids, or silicone can get HIV by sharing needles or syringes and other injection equipment. You can lower your risk for getting HIV by using only new, sterile needles and works each time you inject. Never share needles or works.
PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected. PEP should be used only in emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV.