According to the World Health Organization, HIV continues to be a major global public health issue with almost 38 million people living with the disease at the end of 2019 [1]. With this in mind, it’s important to stay as well educated surrounding HIV as possible including the associated risk factors plus the preventive measures that can help in reducing your risk of contracting it.

See also: What are the Stages of HIV?


HIV: Risk factors


While the virus is known to spread through the bodily fluids of those who have tested positive for HIV, there are certain risk factors that are associated with the virus [2], these include:

  • Unprotected anal or vaginal sex
  • Receiving unsafe injections, blood transfusions or other medical procedures that occur in an unsterile environment
  • Having syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea or bacterial vaginosis
  • Sharing needles during injection drug use

See also: What is the Treatment for HIV?


HIV: Prevention


As with other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV can be prevented by taking steps towards practicing safe sex and regularly checking your sexual health [3]. Some of these steps include:

  • Correct male and female condom use
  • Limiting number of sexual partners
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) (if you believe you may have been exposed to HIV)
  • Regularly screen for HIV and other STIs

See also: HIV and Pneumonia: What’s the Connection?


One of the best ways to reduce your risk of contracting HIV is by regularly screening your sexual health. This can be done with your doctor or from home with an at-home lab test.

LetsGetChecked’s range of STI Tests check for some of the most common STIs, including HIV. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated medical team will be available to answer any questions you may have about the process or the next steps you should take depending on your results.

See also: How do you Check for HIV From Home?



References

  1. World Health Organization. HIV/AIDs. Online: Who.int, 2020
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What is HIV? Online: Cdc.gov, 2020
  3. World Health Organization. HIV/AIDs. Online: Who.int, 2020