How to Protect Yourself from HIV
HIV cases are on the rise. There are more than 5,900 living with HIV in Oklahoma. Fortunately, there are more tools than ever are available to prevent HIV. Strategies include abstinence (not having sex), using condoms the right way every time you have sex, limiting your number of sexual partners and if you must inject drugs never sharing syringes, needles or other paraphernalia. There are also HIV prevention medicines such as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
If you already have HIV, there are several actions you can take to prevent transmitting it to others. The most important is taking HIV medicine (called antiretroviral therapy, or ART) as prescribed. If you already take HIV medicine as prescribed keep an undetectable viral load (or stay virally suppressed), you can stay healthy and have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative sex partner.
You can't get HIV from casual contact with a person who has HIV, such as a handshake, a hug, or a closed-mouth kiss. And you can't get HIV from contact with objects such as toilet seats, doorknobs, or dishes used by a person who has HIV.
Approximately 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV today. About 15 percent of them (1 in 7) are unaware they are infected. Speaking with your partner(s), practicing safe sex and getting on proper HIV prevention medication, such as Truvada ® used for PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis can help lower those numbers and reduce the risk of HIV in Oklahoma.
And you can learn more about preventing HIV at the Center for Disease Control’s website located here: