Health & Fitness

How ART and PEP Prevent the Spread of HIV

HIV is one of the leading causes of death in people these days. This deadly virus is spread through transfusion of sexual fluids and blood, which occur usually during intercourse. So, probably, the only way to avoid HIV 100% is by not having sex at all, and that is not possible for most people. Sex is a need and that’s why, every person, or at least the majority, at some point in their life, has sex. So the question here is, what can you do to prevent HIV? The first step in this process is by educating oneself about how to have safer sex, and learning how to prevent HIV. 

One way of HIV prevention is by using condoms, as it really lowers your chances of getting HIV. Use a condom every single time when having intercourse, to keep yourself and your partner safe. Moreover, there is also a daily pill available in medical stores called “PrEP”. This pill prevents HIV to a significant extent. Your family doctor can tell you if the pill is good for you or not. 

It is pretty easy for HIV to invade your body when you have open cuts, sores, or any other openings in the skin from where the blood may get inside your body. Therefore, it is better to not have intercourse especially when you have herpes breakout or any other infections on your skin. Let it be clear that there is no known vaccine developed to date that can prevent HIV, though the medical team from all over the world is trying to make one. If you are someone who doesn’t have HIV, but unfortunately your partner does, they can start HIV treatment called (ART) which stands for antiretroviral therapy. This treatment can significantly prevent the transmission of HIV. 

How PEP Prevents HIV

PEP is short for post-exposure prophylaxis. It is basically a chain of pills that you start taking after you have been exposed to HIV, as this pill lowers your chance of getting the virus. In order for the PEP to work, you have to take it within 3 days of unprotected intercourse. The sooner you start taking the pill, the more effective it will be. If at any point you doubt that you were exposed to HIV, immediately call your family doctor to go into emergency right away, as PEP is only for emergency situations. 

How ART Prevents HIV

ART, short for antiretroviral therapy, is basically a series of medicines that effectively slow down HIV’s effects. ART is a combination of medicines that can help you stay healthy for years. Thus medicine can even stop your chances of transmitting HIV to someone else. ART significantly lowers the amount of HIV virus inside our body to an extreme point where the virus is hard to detect in the lab results. If the HIV viral load inside your blood is so low that it can’t be detected, you can’t spread the virus to anyone else during intercourse. 

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