Many countries have been making concerted research efforts over past years with a view to developing an effective HIV vaccine, but with no success to date. Therefore, protective measures have to be proactively implemented.
Safer sex means to avoid contacting vaginal discharge, pre-ejaculation, semen or blood directly during sexual intercourse in order to reduce the risk of getting sexually transmitted infection (STI) or HIV infection. Injured skin or presence of STI can increase the risk of getting HIV infection. Avoid unsafe sex to keep away from HIV infection.
Proper and consistent use of condom can reduce the risk of getting the virus.
Steps for proper use of condom
- Use a new, good quality latex condom and check the expiry date before use.
- Put the condom on before the penis touches the vagina, mouth or anus.
- With care, hold the condom by the tip to squeeze out the air. This allows room for the semen.
- Put the condom on the end of the erect penis. Unroll it onto the erect penis all the way down to the hair.
- Use water-based lubricants. Oil-based lubricants can cause the condom to break.
- After ejaculation and before the penis gets soft, grip the rim of the condom and carefully withdraw.
- Gently pull the condom off the penis, making sure that semen doesn’t spill out.
- Wrap the condom in a tissue and throw it in the trash.
Other means to prevent from HIV infection:
- Avoid contact with blood and apply correct wound care. When there is a wound in the skin, clean the wound with disinfectant and cover it up properly such as by waterproof bandage. Take protective measures when handling of blood or body fluids. Never contact others’ bloods with bare hands. Wear latex gloves before handling any bleeding wounds.
- Check the cleaning and sterilization procedure of shops offering ear piercing or tattoo services.
- Do not share shaver, toothbrush, nail clipper or the like with others.
- No drug abuse
- Pregnant women are advised to have HIV Antibody Test to prevent transmission from infected mother to her baby.