For nearly half a century, HIV and AIDS have infected and destroyed the lives of countless people, but after decades of experience fighting this terrible disease, humankind has learned that the onset of AIDS can be delayed and resisted, and that an HIV diagnosis is not a death sentence. Despite this, many people who are diagnosed with HIV still struggle with feelings of fear and depression, and do not take care of themselves properly as a result. In addition, sufferers of HIV and AIDS are often made victims of unfair stigmas by the uninformed, leading to the patient hiding their disease and failing to effectively treat it or prevent it from spreading further.
Of course, the first step in stopping HIV in its tracks is preventing it from spreading further, and until an effective vaccine against HIV is discovered, the closest thing we can use and share to save ourselves and each-other from HIV/AIDS is knowledge of the prevention techniques already proven to work. Should you want to join the effort against the spread of HIV and similar blood-borne diseases (like Hepatitis B & C and Ebola), learning reliable prevention measures and passing that knowledge to everyone you can is the best thing you can do to defend humanity from these terrible diseases.
Basic Prevention of HIV
First things first: As you probably already know, HIV is only transmitted through human bodily fluids, especially the blood, so limiting contact between open wounds or bodily fluids of people whose HIV status is Positive or uncertain is the cornerstone of preventing HIV from spreading. One cannot catch HIV from coughs, sneezes or other respiratory symptoms, but since other opportunistic diseases like tuberculosis (TB) often take up residence in HIV patients, steering clear of the flying mucous expelled by these symptoms is still a wise move. So what kind of contact does put us at risk?
HIV is famously known as a sexually transmitted disease, though it’s important to remember that not all sexual or physical contact puts one at the same risk of HIV transmission. As a rule of thumb, remember that the single most risky factor in HIV transmission is when an uninfected person’s open wound comes into contact with bodily fluids of an infected person. When there aren’t any open wounds in the equation, the risk of catching HIV is actually very low. For example, kissing, hugging and most other physical contact is completely safe if neither person has an open sore or wound that meets blood from the other person, but if the uninfected person has an open sore or wound, their risk skyrockets. The conditionally low risk of kissing applies to oral sex as well, but with an overall higher risk of HIV transmission, since genital fluids tend to have far higher concentrations of the HIV virus than saliva.
Unprotected penetrative sex is widely known as a high-risk factor when it comes to catching HIV. Even if no-one involved in the encounter has open wounds on or around their genitals when they start, the friction of penetrative sex, particularly unlubricated anal sex, is likely to result in tiny cuts and abrasions that, while not particularly painful or noticeable, nevertheless become high-risk factors as the new wounds meet each-other. Using an ample amount of water-based lubrication during penetrative sex can minimise this risk, but extra protection is still a good idea when there’s even the remotest chance that one sexual partner is HIV positive.
While the most watertight preventative measure against HIV transmission is to abstain from intense and/or penetrative sex with HIV-positive partners (getting and insisting on HIV testing before having sex with new partners is a requirement for this method), personal factors mean this may not always be an option. While penetrative sex will never be completely free of risk, there are many effective precautions one can take to minimise the danger of catching HIV.
As you may have guessed, minimising the chance of fluid-to-fluid contact is the most effective precautionary measure. Using a latex condom or similarly reliable physical barrier (such as a dental dam for oral sex), as well as ample lubrication, between the points of friction for any given sexual act serves the dual purpose of keeping otherwise exposed areas away from potentially infectious fluids, and reducing the chance of cuts and abrasions that could lead to infection in the future.
Outside of sexual contact, the most common way for HIV to spread is by multiple people being injected by the same hypodermic needle without sterilising it between uses. This is most common amongst groups of people sharing injected recreational drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines, but medical facilities that neglect to live up to basic hygiene standards can be responsible for accidental HIV infections too. If you are about to take or administer an injection with a used needle, be sure that the needle is either completely sterilised or preferably replaced by an unused needle.
Unfortunately, while all these precautions reduce your chances of catching HIV to almost nothing, accidents or lapses can happen that may put you in danger of contracting the disease. If you have even the slightest suspicion that you’ve been exposed to HIV (be it from unprotected sexual contact with someone of unknown HIV status – perhaps the result of a broken condom, getting pricked by a used needle, etc.) check in with a local health professional equipped to administer HIV tests immediately. If your test comes back positive after the first test, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the infection will stick. While it is currently not possible to completely remove a fully-formed HIV infection, a strong immune system slows the rate that HIV multiplies and in some cases, even forces it to evolve into a milder, less deadly form (You can read more about this effect at http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30254697), and if you begin medical treatment right away, the HIV infection can be purged altogether. HIV might be characterised by its ability to damage and weaken the immune system over time, but your immune system is still your first line of defense against it if you are exposed, and can prevent HIV from ever gaining a foothold.
While preventing exposure altogether is the best ‘cure’ for HIV, having a strong immune system might be the factor tipping the odds of staying HIV-free (and free of any other illness for that matter) in your favour. There are many ways to bolster your immune system, many of which are as common sense as living well, eating healthily and exercising regularly. Proper nutrition and exercise for people living with HIV are subjects deserving of their own articles (so keep an eye on this blog!), but we can tell you right now that there is key to an overall healthier lifestyle and stronger immune system that is guaranteed to improve your quality of life, and might even be the deciding factor in whether your immune system can fight off a deadly infection.
That Key is Mega Oxygen Therapy: A natural oxygen-producing supplement that, along with a nourishing blend of natural South African herbal ingredients, fills your system with life-giving oxygen: keeping your cells alive, healthy and capable of activating a powerful immune response to any viral invasion. Oxygen has been shown to be a key component in alerting our T-helper cells (the most important cells in our immune system) of danger and calling them to flood the virus with antibodies and white blood cells, absorbing and dissolving the invading viruses harmlessly. As a result, the extra oxygen provided by Mega Oxygen therapy may empower your immune system to crush an HIV infection before its viruses can start to multiply. You should still take all the standard precautions against sexually transmitted diseases (condom use, STI testing and prudent partner selection), but that extra dose of protection against HIV (and all other diseases for that matter) provided by the rocket-powered nourishment of Mega Oxygen Therapy is always welcome.
Why not take a moment to learn more about what Mega Oxygen Therapy can do for you by reading some of our other posts? Of course, if you can’t wait to give your life the boost that only Oxygen Therapy can provide, why not check out our online store to order one of our diverse range of products and see for yourself!
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