How can I best protect my HIV-negative partner from HIV?
The possibility of being infected by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) becomes a constant reality when you are in a mixed status relationship. A mixed status relationship (also known as a Serodiscordant relationship) is a sexual relationship where one partner is HIV negative and the other is HIV positive. If you are a HIV positive partner in a mixed status relationship, there are ways you can reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to your partner.
Use condoms correctly and consistently
When you use condoms correctly and consistently, you lower the risk of infecting your partner with Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) like HIV during anal, oral or vaginal sex. There is also a lower chance of becoming pregnant and you reduce the risk of re-infection too. Remember that HIV can be sexually transmitted via blood, vaginal fluid, rectal fluid (fluid from your anus) and semen. So, whether it’s vaginal, anal or oral sex you prefer, always use a condom during any of these sexual activities choma. There are male and female condoms available. If your partner is allergic to latex, the female condom is a great choice.
Get and remain on antiretroviral (ART) treatment
By regularly taking your ART treatment choma, you reduce your viral load (the amount of HIV in your blood). This means your partner’s chances of contracting HIV are greatly reduced, if you take your treatment correctly and consistently. Once you start taking ART, make sure you follow your health care provider’s instructions and make it a habit to regularly visit him/her. Always take your medicine as directed by your health care provider choma.
Regularly go for STI Testing
Getting tested for STIs is something that you and your partner should do. Testing is the best way to find out if you have been infected with other STIs and to get treatment as early as possible. You should get tested at least once a year, or more, depending on what your health care provider tells you. Apart from increasing your risk of transmitting HIV to your partner, there are other long-term health consequences if you don’t get treated for STIs choma. Check online or ask around to find out where the nearest testing place is for you.
Choma, these medical breakthroughs are incredible in lessening the chances of HIV transmission but it doesn’t meant that you are free and clear to have sex without taking any precautions. HIV may still be present in semen and vaginal and rectal fluids, even if your viral load is undetectable or low. Condoms offer extra protection in preventing the spread of HIV, so in addition to regularly taking your medication, always use a condom correctly every time you have sex. Speak to your doctor or health care practitioner for more advice on both the PrEP and PEP treatments.
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