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HIV infection and AIDS treatment and prevention

HIV prevention

The best way to prevent HIV infection is to:

  • use condoms and a water-based lubricant for anal and vaginal sex
  • never share needles, syringes and other injecting equipment
  • make sure all tattooing, piercing and other procedures use sterilised equipment.

If you have HIV infection, you are expected to prevent the infection of others and notify anyone who is at risk of exposure from you

  • Tell your sexual and drug use contacts. Your doctor can help you decide who may be at risk and help you to contact them either personally or anonymously.
  • Tell anyone you intend to have sex with about your HIV status (even when you use a condom). This is required by law in some states.

If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about starting antiretroviral treatment which can prevent the infection passing to the baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. Read more about HIV and pregnancy.

HIV and AIDS treatment

There is no vaccine or cure for HIV infection. However, there are effective treatments available that can help prevent the progression to AIDS and help ensure a near-normal life expectancy.

Improvements in treatment now mean that HIV infection is a manageable chronic disease for many people in industrialised countries like Australia.

Last reviewed: August 2015

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HIV and AIDS

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV is an infection that attacks the immune system and weakens the bodys ability to fight infections.

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HIV and pregnancy

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. If you have HIV and are pregnant, or are thinking about becoming pregnant, there are ways to reduce the risk of your partner or baby getting HIV.

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HIV, human immunodeficiency virus, causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) by slowly destroying the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to debilitating infections. There are two types of HIV, HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-2 is rarely encountered in Australia but is more common in West Africa. These HIV screening tests detect antibodiesto both HIV-1 and HIV-2 in the blood. Antibodies to HIV are produced by the body and can usually be detected in the blood about 3 - 4 weeks after exposure to the virus and nearly always after 3 months.

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

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