Merck Manual

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Strategies for Preventing the Transmission of HIV

Strategies for Preventing the Transmission of HIV

  • Abstain from sexual activity.

  • Use a latex condom for each act of intercourse with an infected partner or a partner whose HIV status is unknown (vaginal spermicides and sponges do not protect against HIV infection).

  • For men engaging in oral sex, withdraw before ejaculation.

  • For men, get circumcised (circumcision reduces a man's risk of being infected with HIV during vaginal sex with an infected woman).

  • For newly monogamous couples, get tested for HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) before engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse.

  • Never share needles or syringes.

  • Wear rubber gloves (preferably latex) when touching body fluids of another person.

  • If accidentally exposed to fluids containing HIV (for example, after a needlestick), seek treatment with antiretroviral medications to prevent infection.