Why is safer sex important to living positively with HIV?
- So HIV is not spread to a person’s partner(s)
- So PLHIV do not expose themselves or their partner(s) to STIs
- So PLHIV or their partner(s) do not have an unintended pregnancy
- So PLHIV do not expose themselves or their partner(s) to new, more harmful strains of HIV
Ways to practice safer sex:
- Use a condom for all kinds of sex (vaginal, anal, oral).
- Reduce the number of partners and use condoms all the time.
- We know that HIV is often transmitted between regular partners. If both partners have not been tested, then it is safest to use condoms – in both regular and casual partnerships.
- Stay in a relationship where both partners have been tested for HIV and are faithful to one another.
- Masturbate (alone or together).
- Replace risky practices (such as sex without condoms) with safer practices, like touching, massage, kissing and hugging.
- Do not put products or herbs in the vagina before sex.
- Do not have sex if you or your partner have an STI or any kind of sore in the genital area.
- Take all medicines (such as for STI treatment or ART) as prescribed by the doctor or nurse.
- If possible, avoid sex while you or your partner has her period (is menstruating). If you do have sex during menstruation, try to use condoms.
- Do not have sex at all.
- Never force another person to have sex.
- The Comprehensive Peer Educator Training Curriculum: Trainer Manual International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs, Columbia University