How can HIV be prevented?

The only way to ensure that you are 100% safe from HIV transmission is to abstain from sex. Outside of abstaining from sex, you can decrease your risk for HIV transmission by using a new condom each time you have sexual intercourse, to include oral sex. For oral sex on a woman, the use of a dental dam is recommended in order to decrease the risk of HIV transmission.

There is more than one type of barrier available for oral, anal and vaginal sex, the first being the male condom. The male condom should be used according to the manufacturer's instructions with a water-based lubricant for anal and vaginal sex. Also available are flavored male condoms that can effectively be used for oral sex on a male. These are not recommended for vaginal penetration, as they can cause yeast infections given that they are often coated in sugar. The second most common type of protection is the female condom. This should also be used according to the manufacturer's instructions with lubricant for vaginal sex. A couple should not use a male condom and a female condom at the same time as this will cause one or both of them to rip or tear. Lastly, dental dams are recommended for oral sex on a woman and also come in assorted flavors.

Show All Answers

1. What is HIV?
2. How is HIV transmitted?
3. How can HIV be prevented?
4. Who is at risk for HIV?
5. How do I know if I am infected?
6. If I think I have been exposed to HIV, how soon can I get tested?
7. What if I'm positive?
8. What if I'm negative?
9. If I test HIV negative, does that mean that my partner is HIV negative also?
10. What if I was exposed to HIV within the last 72 hours?
11. How do I prove to my partner that I am HIV negative?
12. If somebody did not tell me that they have HIV can they be arrested?
13. Is there a website or database where I can look up my partner to see if they are HIV+?
14. I did not get tested at the Health Department, why are you trying to contact me?
15. I am HIV+ but don’t have insurance. Is there any help for me?
16. I am HIV+ but don’t want to tell my partner. What can I do?
17. If I’m HIV+ and my partner is too, why do we still need to use condoms?
18. People who have HIV look sick, so can’t you tell if somebody has it just by looking at them?
19. I was just told that I have HIV but I feel healthy. Why do I need to see a doctor now, can’t I wait?
20. I know I’m not at risk for HIV so I don’t need to get tested, right?
21. I don’t want to get tested because my insurance will kick me off.