According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is approximated that 37.9 million individuals worldwide were affected by HIV/AIDS in 2018. The fatal illness may be effectually prevented by the following methods:
1. Male circumcision.
Reliable research conducted by the WHO along with Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) suggests that male circumcision, when conducted by trained medical professionals, is an effective method to prevent HIV transmission from an infected female to a male during intercourse.
2. Barrier methods during intercourse.
Being a sexually transmitted disease, AIDS may be spread through body fluids during sexual activity. Barrier methods that prove to be beneficial in protection against HIV transmission include diaphragm or cervical cap and male condom. Studies suggest that heterosexual HIV transfer is reduced by 80% after consistent condom usage.
3. Limiting the number of sexual partners.
More than thirty different kinds of infectious pathogens are known to be transmitted through sexual contact, including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Indulging in casual intercourse can greatly enhance the risk of developing sexually transmitted infections because the practice increases exposure to more individuals who are possibly HIV positive.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes abstinence among the most constructive methods of reducing HIV transmission. Frequent heterosexual contact without barrier contraception is the leading cause of developing AIDS in 28% of the patients. Moreover, evidence provided by studies depicts that recurrent intercourse contributes to 86% of HIV positive cases.
5. Avoid mother-to-child transmission.
According to statistics provided by the World Health Organization, HIV transmission from a HIV-positive mother to her child during gestation period, labor and breastfeeding contributes to approximately 15% to 45% of the AIDS cases among children. The chances can be reduced to 5% upon following precautionary measures and receiving HIV treatment during and after pregnancy.
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6. Avoid sharing needles and syringes.
Reusing needles, particularly among injecting drug users, raises the risk of acquiring AIDS by twenty-two times. If the syringe is used by an HIV-positive individual, the virus can be transmitted through the leftover blood when the next person uses the same syringe. More than 40% of HIV/AIDS cases are known to be caused by reusing needles for injecting drugs.
7. Avoid transmission through blood transfusion.
According to the UNAIDS, there is a 90% higher risk of HIV transmission through blood transfusions and organ transplant from a HIV-positive individual. Even though the international health guidelines ensure that before transfusion the blood is screened for HIV, it is imperative to confirm that the blood has been checked for blood-borne pathogens prior to donating or receiving blood.
8. Abstain from sharing razors and other skin-piercing instruments.
Razors contaminated with HIV-infected blood can easily transmit to a HIV-negative individual via cuts and wounds on the skin. Moreover, procedures such as tattooing and piercings increase the risk of HIV transmission if the instruments used are not sterilized after every use.
9. Get tested for HIV regularly.
The basics of HIV prevention include getting tested and knowing the HIV status of your spouse or partner as well. Almost 40% of AIDS cases occur due to transmission from HIV-positive people who are unaware of their HIV status. It is recommended for adults, young children and pregnant women to get routine HIV screening tests.
10. Education and awareness.
Spreading awareness in publicly conducted seminars, through media, and in educational institutes is a cost-effective way to prevent AIDS. Educating yourself regarding the basics of the illness along with its transmission and prevention can greatly reduce the risk of acquiring HIV.
Take steps today and safeguard yourself against HIV.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!