EDUCATION

Attending an HIV 101 course can give you a better idea what HIV is, how it works and just how it is transmitted.

PREPARE

If you’re going out for a night on the town and planning to party, take condoms with you. You never know where your night might lead. Alcohol and drugs reduce inhibitions, but if you’re prepared, you’ll be more likely to use protection.

CREATIVITY

So, you found that lucky partner and you’ve made it to bed, but they refuse to use protection. Knowing interesting and safe alternatives to penetration such as mutual masturbation and frottage can eliminate risk while still getting the goal.

AFFIRMATION

It may be a cliché term, but knowing how valuable your health and financial resources are can play a great part in staying safe.

REALITY

New drugs now available lessen the negative side effects of taking medications. However, most people don’t take into consideration the cost of the drugs, the cost and frequency of doctors visits and frequent blood draws for lab work. Treatment is still costly, time consuming and physically and emotionally draining.

STD/STI

Having another infection such as syphilis or gonorrhea can greatly increase your chances of becoming infected with HIV. Pay attention to your body or better yet, if you’re sexually active consider getting regular STD checkups. Getting vaccinated for hepatitis A and B can also be a great ally.

TESTING

Get tested. Period. If you are sexually active and always have protected sex you should still be tested annually. If you have unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex, you should get an HIV test every three to six months.

 

Source: Positive Impact / MISTER (Men’s Information Services: Testing, Empowerment, Resources) www.positiveimpact-atl.org

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