HIV / Aids

How is HIV prevented?

We all know the messages of abstaining, being faithful and condomising but what does that mean for WSW?

Abstinence i.e., not having sex is obviously going to reduce our chances of getting HIV but it is not going to be a popular choice for many women. After all, we are sexual beings and have wants, needs and desires.

Being faithful to one partner is also an option and some of us may choose this approach. Obviously it is not enough just for us to be faithful, our partner also needs to be faithful and that is more difficult to control. We need to work at having an open and honest relationship so issues of fidelity can be discussed.

Safer sex is good practice to minimize the risk of sexual transmission. Barriers such as dental dams (OUT’s silk-e’s) are important to use. It is also important that we don’t share sex toys. More about safer sex when we describe the different things we do!!

We can also:

  • Not share needles and syringes
  • Seek treatment after risky exposure, that is take some form of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) if we have been exposed to the virus (PEP is available at the OUT clinic)

HIV testing of both parties in a new relationship, bearing in mind that a follow up test should be done after 6 months as you or her may initially be in the window period.