There have been some amazing things happening in HIV treatment research in the last few years. People with HIV are living longer healthier lives and people that are HIV negative have more ways to protect themselves than ever before. With all of these changes there are still a lot of people that have some incorrect information about HIV. We might not have all of the information we need but we do know a few things to be facts.

  1. One quick test makes a huge difference.

    If you are sexually active consider getting tested for HIV (and other STI’s) at least yearly. When you decide to get tested for HIV ask about the “Rapid Test” which can give you
    preliminary HIV test results in the same visit! Be sure to learn your results and talk about it. If you test negative ,ask about ways that you can stay HIV negative. If you test
    positive ask what your next steps should

  2. Labels belong on clothes.

    Feeling bad about the things people say about you or the things they do to you because of who you are is common. The labels people give us can keep us from taking simple steps to protect ourselves from HIV infection. Knowing who you are and feeling proud about it is one of your strongest weapons when fighting off stigma.

  3. It’s what you do that puts you at risk for HIV infection

    HIV doesn’t discriminate based on who you are. HIV is transmitted through having sex & sharing needles. Anyone who is having unprotected sex or sharing needles is at risk for HIV infection. Knowing you & your partner’s HIV status, using condoms & abstaining from needle sharing reduces your risk.

  4. Wrap it up.

    Knowing where to get condoms and how to use them correctly drastically reduces your risk of HIV infection. It’s simple! Use a latex or polyurethane condom that fits and a water or silicone based lubricant. Carefully remove the condom and throw it in the trash when you’re done! Talking with your partner and planning ahead increases your chances of success!!

  5. Open sore = Open door

    Pay attention to any signs or symptoms of a potential sexually transmitted infection (STI). These could include drippings from the penis or anus, burning during urination or any changes in color or texture of the penis. Having an STI increases your chances or contracting HIV. Don’t make excuses for not seeing or talking with your doctor about your sex life. Catching an STI early can better your sexual health.

  6. Lets talk it out

    Communication with your partners is an important step when trying to avoid the transmission of HIV. You may not have enough confidence to talk to him about his status, but it’s better to get over the embarrassment rather than
    become infected. Although it may be difficult to talk about HIV having the conversation gives both of you the option to have safer sex. Use I statements and be as honest as possible. Wouldn’t you want him to do the same?

  7. Share the love

    Encourage your partner and friends to get tested. Support each other making decisions that will keep them and others safer. Looking for support groups, educational programs or other HIV prevention efforts are all ways to get involved & help build a healthier community!