How Can HIV Be Prevented?

HIV is transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk.  HIV is most easily spread through receptive anal sex, vaginal sex, and sharing needles and works for injection drugs.  Below are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of becoming infected with HIV.

  • Know your HIV status. Anyone who is sexually active or has shared drug injection equipment should be tested for HIV at least once. If you are at ongoing risk for HIV, you should consider being tested for HIV at least once a year. To discuss your risk for HIV, please make an appointment with one of our trained test counselors by calling 855-BTR-2KNW
     
  • Locate an HIV testing site. HIV testing is offered at Southwest CARE Center’s Family Medicine Campus.  Additionally, you can search for HIV testing sites in the state of New Mexico at http://www.nmhivguide.org/
     
  • Abstain from sexual activity or be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner or an HIV-infected partner whose viral load is consistently undetectable on antiretroviral therapy.
     
  • Limit your number of sex partners. The fewer partners you have, the less likely you are to encounter someone who is infected with HIV or another STI (sexually transmitted infection).
     
  • Avoid high-risk activities with partners of unknown HIV status. The activities with highest risk are unprotected receptive anal or vaginal intercourse.
     
  • Correct and consistent condom use. Latex condoms are highly effective at preventing transmission of HIV and other STI's. “Natural” or lambskin condoms do not provide sufficient protection against HIV infection. If you or your partner is allergic to latex, polyurethane condoms are the best alternative.
     
  • Take PrEP. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with daily Truvada is highly effective at preventing HIV infection, and is offered at Southwest CARE Center.
     
  • Get tested and treated. Get tested for STIs and encourage your partners to also. If you test positive for an STI get treatment.
     
  • Talk to your sex partner(s). Talking about sexual histories, sexual preferences, STIs, HIV, and testing can help protect you and your partner. It’s also a good way to learn more about your partner and your relationship.
     
  • Avoid sharing any of your needles or works with other people.  It is also recommended that you use a new needle and works every time you inject.  For new needles, works, and containers to safely dispose of syringes, please visit one of New Mexico’s syringe exchange sites: http://nmhealth.org/idb/documents/NMDOH-IDB-HarmReduction-List-SyringeProviderSites.pdf.
    If you cannot access a syringe exchange site, syringes can be purchased over the counter at a pharmacy without a prescription.

To discuss how you can protect yourself from HIV infection, please make an appointment for HIV testing with one of our trained testing counselors by calling 855-BTR-2KNW.


RAPID HIV TESTING

Get your results in just 10 minutes. Rapid HIV testing is available at the Familiy Medicine campus Monday,Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Wednesday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Thursday evenings from 5;30 pm to 7:00 pm. Get a Test Now >>

Es Major Saber (Its Better to Know) - HIV Prevention Program