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5 things to consider for preventing HIV in Adolescents

HIV as we all know is spread through unprotected sexual contact with a person carrying the HIV virus. Many adolescents have unprotected sex (without the use of a condom) with multiple sexual partners. They thus engage in sexual behaviours that place them at a high risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. In addition to this, homosexuals, drug users, teenagers etc are at the highest risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases like HIV. The other ways in which HIV can be transmitted are intravenous injection and blood transfusions.

Details about HIV:

The Human immunodeficiency virus leads to the development of a full blown immunodeficiency infection called AIDS. AIDS is nothing but Acquire immunodeficiency syndrome which is a combination of many diseases that occur due to the lowered capacity of the immune system to fight infections. It has been observed that worldwide the highest affected population is the teenagers or individuals in the age group of 13- 25 years.

There are some guidelines that one needs to follow in order to prevent the transmission of HIV infection.

Use of condoms:

Since the HIV virus (a retrovirus) is spread through the genital fluids like semen and vaginal discharge, the usage of a condom is extremely essential when engaging in sexual intercourse with a stranger or someone who is predisposed to HIV infection. If a person has multiple sexual partners there is greater chance of the spread of infection from one person to another. This puts the entire circle of people having a sexual intercourse at risk. Hence it is very important to use a condom while engaging in sexual intercourse.

Do not reuse previously used syringes or needles:

Drugs addicts have a habit of sharing their injections and reusing the used syringes or needles. If the previous person in HIV infected, then there is greater chance that a person sharing the same needle also gets affected next. This can also be a chain that can lead to the transmission of the virus to a large number of people.

Talk to your partner about your previous sexual history:

Being open and frank in your relationship can always save someone else’s life. Ask your partner if she/ he has had an incidence where he/ she has used a used syringe during intravenous drug usage. Ask your partner if they have had unprotected sex in the past. If the answer to these questions is positive, then it is essential to encourage your partner to get himself/ herself tested for HIV as a precautionary measure. This openness leads to better understanding between sexual partners and helps them cope with the results of the tests better.

Get tested if you get pregnant:

HIV infection is transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby though the amniotic fluid. If you accidentally get pregnant, it is important to seek medical attention and start treatment immediately. Timely medical treatment and the medical interventions of today have enabled doctors to find a way such that a pregnant HIV infected mother can give birth to a normal child who is not infected.

Do not donate blood:

As we are well aware that HIV infections are spread through blood donation, even if there is an emergency do not donate HIV infected blood to a healthy normal person.