We’ve all heard the saying: Prevention is better than cure. This year, UNAIDS is looking at more preventative strategies and identifying key groups vulnerable to HIV, which at the present moment are adolescent girls and young women. This year’s theme is “Hands Up for HIV Prevention,” and it is important to educate young women at every stage about the importance of knowing your status, while inserting strict preventative methods into their daily lives.
If you re sexually active, knowing your status is extremely important. There are no valid reasons to not get tested. Go out and get tested today. And if you’re unable to go today, be sure to visit your nearest clinic or testing center soon. And for those who are shy or nervous about being tested publicly, it can be done in private with a home testing kit such as OraQuick. There are now more options to prevent this virus from spreading and we must take action! Everyone needs to get involved by promoting safe practices and educating those who may not have the same resources you do .Today, we even saw pop artist Rihanna getting tested in her home country Barbados along side Prince Harry.
Here are some HIV preventative methods:
- Before engaging in sex, have a talk with your partner(s) and know each other’s HIV status.
- Be sure to use a condom every time you have sex whether vaginal, anal or oral.
- Ask your doctor about using PrEP (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis), a preventative medication taken when at high risk of being exposed.
- Do not share needles or any other items that would transmit blood.
- Limit sexual partners to reduce risk of exposure.
- If you believe you have been exposed to the virus, be sure to go to your nearest clinic immediately and receive the medication PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis), which if taken within 3 days of exposure, can stop HIV from making copies of itself and spreading throughout your body.
- Always get tested, even if you’re being careful.
Spread the word!