To reduce the risk of HIV transmission:
- Do not reuse or share dirty needles: Clean needles with a bleach solution before reusing them or use fresh needles each time.
- Do not have unprotected sex: Use a condom every time you have sex, especially for anal and vaginal intercourse, which are the riskiest sexual activities.
- Get tested if you are pregnant or considering pregnancy: HIV+ mothers can pass the virus to their babies while pregnant, during birth, or by breastfeeding. Advances in treatments have significantly reduced the risk of a baby getting HIV from its mother when precautions are taken.
- Common myth: "HIV can be spread through casual contact.
- Truth: HIV cannot be spread through tears, sweat, and saliva. Casual contact is not risky because it does not include contact with infectious body fluids. Examples of casual contact include: social kissing, use of public facilities (pools, theaters, bathrooms), sharing drinks or eating utensils, etc. Insect bites do not transmit HIV.