Sexual contact with someone who has HIV remains the most common way that HIV/AIDS spreads, and new HIV infections occur most often among high-risk males who are gay or bisexual. The numbers are highest among African-American high-risk men. However, proactive steps can reduce your chances of contracting or spreading the opportunistic virus. Prevention begins with regular testing because symptoms can take years to manifest, so good health doesn’t guarantee that you don’t have the virus if you have unprotected sex.
Preventative Tips for High-risk Men
Older men often survived many years without getting infected, but it only takes one time of having unprotected sex to get AIDS. If you engage with multiple sexual partners, you can reduce your risks of getting or spreading AIDS by following these recommendations:
- Choose Safer Sex
Straight or bisexual men can get HIV from blood, semen, preseminal fluid and vaginal fluids. If you don’t expose yourself to fluids or share them sexually, you have no risk of getting infected.
- Use Condoms
Condoms are amazingly effective in preventing all STD infections and protecting against sharing fluids inadvertently through small skin abrasions. You need to use a fresh condom for each sexual act and learn how to wear one correctly for maximum protection.
- Limit Partners
Limiting your sexual partners to people who have been recently tested is a good strategy. Regardless of testing, you should try to reduce the number of sexual partners.
- Get Tested After Unprotected Sex
After unprotected sex – whether intentional or not – you should get tested. Quickly identifying the virus is the best way to prevent spreading it and protecting your health with treatment.
- Take HIV Medication
Medication prevents HIV from developing into AIDS and treats AIDS cases effectively. Your doctor has many available drugs to combat AIDS and restore your T-cell count. AIDS occurs when HIV attaches to your T-cells and destroys them. The T-cells are essential for fighting common infections. Medicines like Atripla and Truvada work to prevent HIV from reproducing. If a person has HIV/AIDS and is taking his or her medication, then you are less likely to become infected.
Celebrate World AIDS Day by Getting Tested
December 1, 2014 is World AIDS day, so December is a great month to get tested and learn more about what you can do to prevent spreading the virus. This year’s theme is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.” You can locate anonymous testing centers or get an HIV/AIDS screening from your own physician with complete confidence that your privacy is protected. Some people don’t get tested because they’re afraid to know the truth, but modern medications make AIDS treatable and prevent HIV-positive people from developing full-blown AIDS. High-risk men have an even greater responsibility to know the truth, and using your personal resources to prevent AIDS helps to reduce the stigma of getting infected.