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HIV Prevention Starts With Me - Positive Singles.com

Every Year on March 10 the Office of Women’s Health of the Department of Human and Health Services acknowledges National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day. This year Positivesingles.com is going to participate in National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day by educating women about HIV/ AIDS. Positivesinges.com is a dating website that helps individuals who are diagnosed with HIV and sexual transmitted infections (STIs) receive the emotional support they need.

Throughout the month of March local, state, federal, and national organizations come together to shed light on the importance HIV and AIDS have on women and girls. The goal is to raises awareness about the importance of women and pregnant women getting tested for HIV. Women and girls will know how to prevent HIV, the chance of contacting HIV, what options are available if they are diagnosed with HIV, and what resources are available.

How is HIV spread from one person to another?

HIV transmission is known as the spread of HIV from one person to another. Only the following body fluids can spread HIV.

  • ● Blood
  • ● Semen
  • ● Pre-seminal fluids
  • ● Rectal fluids
  • ● Vaginal fluids
  • ● Break milk

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “HIV transmission is possible if these fluids come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or is directly injected into the bloodstream (from a needle or syringe) for transmission to occur. Mucous membranes are found inside the rectum, the vagina, the opening of the penis, and the mouth”.

How to prevent HIV?

1. Use a condom.

Any woman who has sex is at risk of HIV infection, no matter what her race, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation is. Using a condom protects you and your partner from spreading HIV. Vaginal intercourse is the one of the common ways a female catches HIV, seem HIV can enter the body through mucous membranes that align the vagina. Also, semen can stay in the vagina for several days after sex, which means a longer exposure time for women. Receiving anal sex also put women at a high risk of catching HIV. HIV can enter a female’s body through pre-seminal or semen fluids.

2. Never share needles, syringes, or other injection equipment.

Sharing equipment puts you at high risk of HIV infection. It is important to use only use new sterile drug injection equipment. Sterile drug equipment can be obtained at a needle exchange program and many local drug stores have needles for purchase. The most effective way to reduce HIV is to avoid drug use. If you must share a needle the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends sterilizing the needle with bleach.

3. Get tested and know your partner’s HIV status.

You can get a free HIV test at your local health department. Many city clinics and medical centers also offer free HIV testing. Talk to your partner about HIV testing and get tested before you have sex. If you are pregnant or planning to have a baby, get tested for HIV.

4. Limit your number of sexual partners.

The more partners you have, the more likely you are to catch HIV, or catch an STI. Having herpes, gonorrhea, and syphilis increases your chance of contacting HIV. Before you have sexual intercourse with a new partner get tested for HIV and STIs.

5. Talk to your health care provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

PrEP is an HIV prevention method for people who don't have HIV but who are at high risk of becoming infected. PrEP involves taking specific HIV medicine on a daily basis. The evidence based approach is considered an important part of an overall prevention strategy to reduce HIV infections for individuals who are at high-risk to come in contact with HIV.1 Additional information about PrEP can be obtained at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Speak to you medical provider about PrEP and find out whether it is the right prevention strategy for you.

6. Prevent infection after exposure.

If you believe you may have been exposed to HIV, either through unprotected sex or other activities, there are medications that can greatly reduce the risk of infection, referred to as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). In most cases, this involves a 28-day course of the two-in-one antiretroviral drug Truvada (tenofovir + emtricitabine).

If you are diagnosed with HIV, what should you do?

If you’ve been diagnosed with HIV, don’t lose hope and stay positive. With modern medicine today, people living with HIV can lead a near perfectly normal life.

1. Learn and get support.

Educate yourself about HIV: What it is, how it is transmitted and treated, how people can stay healthy while living with HIV, and what are HIV treatment options. Having a solid understanding of HIV is a big step forward in supporting yourself.

Take care of yourself and get support if you need it. City health clinics, community based organization, and Positivesinges.com offer counseling services for individuals who are diagnosed with HIV. Turning to others for emotional support helps develop an insight about how HIV could affect you. Being educated about how HIV is spread could also prevent infections and help a person manage his or her condition.

2.Taking antiretroviral treatment for HIV.

Start treatment as soon as possible. This is the first step to taking care of yourself and keeping your immune system strong. Although antiretroviral treatment is not a cure for HIV, it helps keep the virus under control.

Your medical doctor will work with you to find a medication regimen that works for you. Once you start treatment, the key to staying well is to make sure that you are taking medication as prescribed. HIV medication is most effective if the medication is taken as prescribed. Taking medication as prescribed also involves not missing any dosages.

3.Have a healthy diet.

A person diagnose with HIV could meet with a nutritionist to determine what diet plan could meet his or her needs. Having a well balanced diet without too much processed fat, sugar, or salt will help strengthen your immune system. This will also help your body weaken HIV. Before changing your diet it is important to speak to a medical doctor.

4. Workout regularly.

Being active is a part of maintaining your health. This builds muscle, keeps your bones strong, your heart healthy and burns fat. A person living with HIV may deal with the loss of muscle mass and strength. Exercising regularly could helps prevent this from happening. Exercise also reduces feelings of stress and symptoms of depression.

5. Avoid excessive alcohol or drug use.

Drinking too much alcohol or taking recreational drugs weakens your immune system. This means HIV medication may have a negative interaction with certain drugs. Alcohol or drug use may cause HIV medications to be ineffective, or you may experience more intense medication side effective. You could also have a drug overdose, feel dizzy, or faint Consuming excessive alcohol or using drugs also puts a person at a higher risk to have unprotected sex. HIV is more likely to spread when a person is using drugs or drinking excessive alcohol.

6.Find love & support on Positivesingles.com

Finding out you have HIV can be shocking and it may take you some time to adjust. You may think your love life is over. But that is not always the case; you can find both support and love on Positivesingles.com. You can meet people with HIV and other STIs in a safe and supportive environment. Looking after your mental wellbeing and emotional health is just as important as taking care of your body. Positivesingles.com also has counseling services, access to a dating advisor, STI Counselor, and additional resources. More than a million people in the United States are living with HIV and Living with HIV is no longer a reason to not search for your soul mate.