All of us have a role to play in stopping HIV in our communities by:
One way to protect yourself and your partners from HIV and most STIs is to use condoms and water-based lubricant during sex
* Sex with condoms is called safe or protected sex because condoms keep people safe from HIV and most other STIs.
* Sex without a condom is called unsafe or unprotected sex because it can put you or your partner at risk of getting HIV or other STI.
* It’s best to use condoms every time with a new partner, or when you start a new relationship
Using your own sterile drug injecting equipment
U and me can stop HIV by using new clean injecting equipment or by not sharing equipment between people who inject drugs. Injecting equipment includes: needles, syringes, spoons, swabs, filters and tourniquets.
* A needle or syringe may look clean but there could be a tiny amount of blood you can’t see – enough for getting HIV.
* You can get new needles and syringes in needle and syringe program services, some chemists, health clinics and community centres.
Using sterile tattoo and piercing equipment
HIV transmission from body piercing or tattooing is highly unlikely, but it is possible for the blood of an infected person to be left on a needle that is later used to pierce or tattoo another person.
* Other blood-borne illnesses, such as hepatitis B and C, can be transmitted by sharing tattooing and piercing equipment.
* The best way to avoid HIV through tattooing or piercing is to have these done professionally.
Knowing about PrEP
* PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or taking a tablet daily to prevent HIV
* PrEP is for people who don’t have HIV and want to prevent HIV
* PrEP is available by prescription from any Doctor or Clinic
* Some people take PrEP because they know their partner has HIV and they want extra protection
* Other people take PrEP because they want to enjoy sex without the worry of catching HIV
Talk to your doctor about PrEP if you are worried about HIV.
Take a look at our PrEP animation here: Click here
Knowing about PEP
PEP is different to PrEP
PEP can also prevent HIV
PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. PEP means taking HIV drugs after you think you may have been exposed to HIV for example after having sex without a condom, having unwanted sex, or after sharing injecting or tattooing equipment with someone who may have HIV.
PEP involves taking HIV drugs for a month after the incident, but the most important thing about PEP is it needs to be started within 72 hours of the incident where you think you may have been exposed.
PEP is available from sexual health clinics, hospital emergency departments or GPs- don’t waste time.
Looking out for cuts
HIV can be transmitted through open cuts. If you have an open cut on your body cover it up, especially when playing contact sports.
Is there a vaccine against HIV?
No. There’s no vaccine to protect people from getting HIV yet. Scientists are working on this.