There are many forms of prevention that can be used to avoid HIV contraction. Of course, abstinence is the only 100% effective HIV prevention option. Here are some other tools available to help prevent HIV contraction:

  • Using condoms the right way
  • Taking HIV medicines daily
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • Get tested and treated for STDs
  • Stopping injection and other drug use
  • If you must use injections, use only new, sterile needles
  • Get tested for HIV once a year

Positive Prevention

Positive prevention is a way of reducing HIV transmission by using prevention strategies for those people who have been diagnosed with HIV.

A major step passing on HIV is by taking HIV medicines daily. Treatment with HIV medicines, called antiretroviral therapy (ART) helps people with HIV not only live longer, but it also reduces the amount of HIV in the body, which in turn reduces the risk of passing on HIV to others.

It’s also important to use a condom during sex, and you can talk to your partner about taking PrEP, which is an HIV prevention strategy in which HIV-negative people take an oral pill once a day prior coming into contact with HIV. PrEP must be taken for at least 7 days to reach optimal levels of protection against HIV.

Similar to PrEP is PEP, another HIV prevention strategy in which HIV-negative people take anti-HIV medications after coming into contact with HIV to reduce their risk of HIV infection. PEP must be started within 72 hours after HIV exposure.

If you inject any drugs, do not share your needs, syringes, or other drug equipment with anyone.