HIV Prevention

How do you prevent HIV?

  • Learn about how HIV can be passed from person to person.
  • Get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
  • Practice safer sex:
    • Use a condom during vaginal or anal sex, or a condom or dental dam during oral sex.
    • Use only water-based or silicone-basedlubricants. Oil-based lubricants can make latex condoms break.
    • Having sex with more than one partner and with anonymous partners increases the risk of getting HIV. 
    • Avoid sharing sex toys, and if you do, cover each one with a new condom before each use. It is also important to clean your toys between vaginal and anal use.
    • Choose forms of sexual stimulation that pose little or no risk for HIV, like masturbation or sensual massage.
  • Do not share needles – even with close friends or family members. Use new, clean needles and syringes every time you need them. You can get new needles and supplies from your local harm reduction program.
  • Use your own drug equipment (such as pipes, bills, straws, cookers, water, alcohol swabs) every time. Never share equipment, not even with your sex partner.
  • Use gloves when providing first aid.
  • Look for information before undergoing any procedure that involves the use of needles (such as tattooing or acupuncture). Make sure that the service provider follows good health practices especially around needles and equipment.
  • Visit your nearest health center or see your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to have a baby.
  • Bottle feed your baby if you are living with HIV.  There is a 25 to 50% chance that a baby can be infected with HIV from the breast milk of an infected mother.