Talk to your partners and friends about condoms. There are more HIV prevention options than ever before, and condoms are still a highly effective option to prevent both HIV and other STDs.
If you use them the right way every time you have sex, condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV infection. But it’s important to educate yourself about how to use them the right way.
Condoms can also help prevent other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) you can get through body fluids, like gonorrhea and chlamydia. However, they provide less protection against STDs spread through skin-to-skin contact, like human papillomavirus or HPV (genital warts), genital herpes, and syphilis.
Start talking about the HIV prevention options that work for you.
Talk to your partners and friends about PrEP. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an HIV prevention option that works by taking one pill every day. When taken daily it can greatly reduce your risk of getting HIV. You can protect yourself even more if you use condoms and other prevention tools.
People at very high risk for HIV take HIV medicines daily as PrEP to lower their chances of getting infected. PrEP can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body. It is highly effective for preventing HIV if used as prescribed, but it is much less effective when not taken consistently. And remember, PrEP protects you against HIV but not against other STDs.
Daily PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. Among people who inject drugs, it reduces the risk by more than 70%. Your risk of getting HIV from sex can be even lower if you combine PrEP with condoms and other prevention methods.
There are more HIV prevention options than ever before. Learn more about PrEP to decide if it is right for you.
Talk to your partners and friends about knowing your status and getting tested. Knowing your HIV status helps you choose options to stay healthy. HIV testing is free, fast, and confidential. The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested.
CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. A general rule for those with risk factors is to get tested annually. Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (for example, every 3 to 6 months).
Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner healthy.
There are more HIV prevention options than ever before. Start talking about the options that work for you.
Talk to your partners and friends about how being on HIV treatment and having an undetectable viral load is also HIV prevention.
If you are living with HIV, having an undetectable viral load level means that the amount of HIV in your blood is so low it can’t be measured. It is the goal of HIV treatment and is important for your health. But it also makes it very unlikely to pass HIV to a partner.
Today, an estimated 1.2 million people are living with HIV in Kenya. Thanks to better treatments, people with HIV are now living longer—and with a better quality of life—than ever before. If you are living with HIV, it’s important to make choices that keep you healthy and protect others.
Start medical care and begin HIV treatment as soon as you are diagnosed with HIV. Taking medicine to treat HIV, called antiretroviral therapy or ART, is recommended for all people with HIV. Taking medicine to treat HIV slows the progression of HIV and helps protect your immune system. The medicines can keep you healthy for many years and greatly reduces your chance of transmitting HIV to sex partners if taken the right way, every day.
If you’re taking medicine to treat HIV, visit your health care provider regularly and always take your medicine as directed to keep your viral load (the amount of HIV in the blood and elsewhere in the body) as low as possible.
Starting and staying on treatment will help you to be undetectable. Start talking about the options that work for you.