Today we will treat frequently asked questions about HIV.
1 ‘Are condoms really effective?’
Condoms are very effective in preventing the transmission of the HIV virus when used consistently and in the right manner, please don’t double your condom, it will render it ineffective.
2. ‘Can I get HIV through kissing?’
The act of kissing itself doesn’t transmit HIV as HIV is not spread through saliva however if there are open sores in your mouth and that of your partner, the risk of transmission is increased.
3. ‘Can a spouse be HIV positive and the other negative despite unprotected sex?’
Yes. It depends on the level of the virus in the affected partner. If the level is low and the partner is on treatment, the risk is lower.
4 ‘What should I do if I have been exposed to the virus, should I drink lime water or wash my private part with lime etc.? ‘
All these measures are ineffective.
Report to a clinic, an initial HIV test will be done to know your current status, you will then be given what is called post exposure prophylaxis. These are anti retroviral drugs which are taken for one month to reduce the possibility of coming down with the virus.
5. ‘As a HIV positive mother can I deliver a child that is completely free of the virus?’
Definitely, if you take anti retroviral drugs and your delivery is done quickly to minimise contact of your baby with infected tissue. Alternatively, you may undergo CS.
Your baby will also be started on drugs and may not be breast fed to reduce risk.
6. ‘If I’m HIV negative and my spouse is positive, should we stop having sex?’
The answer is no, the affected partner needs to be on antiretroviral drugs. The uninfected partner can take pre exposure prophylaxis or use a condom. Do this before having sex.
Hope all your questions have now been answered?
Join me tomorrow as we discuss treatment.
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