One question that looms large in every HIV/AIDS patient’s mind is whether they can have a regular sex life like the others. Especially, if one is young and in his/her prime suffering from HIV infection thinking that the person might not have sex or a sexual desire might be unnatural. But the drawback is for an HIV positive person to have sex with anyone (even an HIV positive partner) increases the partner’s risk of contracting the virus manifold. So if an HIV positive patient wants to enjoy an active sex life, there are few precautions that need to be followed. Here we bring to you the ultimate safe-sex guide
- People who are HIV positive should never have sex without a condom, period. This dramatically reduces the chances of transmitting the virus to the partner. Both male and female condom can help reduce the risk of transmission.
- Even if two HIV positive people are planning to have sex, care should be taken that they are using condoms for their safety. Remember, that both the partners might not have the same viral load. So while having unprotected sex one might pass on a potent viral trail to the other which might be hard to treat even with ART or antiretroviral therapy wherein the growth of the virus is prevented and so the progression from HIV to full-blown AIDS is reduced to an extent.
- Oral sex must be performed with care. While it is thought that the chance of contracting the virus through oral sex is low, it is still a possibility. Men should use a condom even during oral sex and dental dams are suggested for females. If either of the partners are HIV positive it can increase the chance of transmission if the person giving or receiving oral has cut, spores or bleeding gums in the oral cavity. Here are more questions on oral sex and HIV answered.
- HIV spreads through bodily fluids like blood, semen, vaginal and anal secretions. To infect someone else, those fluids have to get into the other person’s body, usually through a mucous membrane or cut. So, if you are not using a condom avoid having penetrative sex (vaginal or anal) and try satisfying your partner with your hands. Masturbate each other and explore the erogenous zones of your partner and help them get an orgasm.
- Avoid having sex with multiple partners even if you are using a condom.
- If an HIV positive man is having sex with the condom on and the condom breaks mid-way, it is necessary for the woman to go for PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) treatment where ART medications are given which acts like the morning-after-pill for HIV. The female partner should take antiretroviral drugs for 28 days to prevent the virus from multiplying. This method of prevention is generally effective but should start within 72 hours of having sex or condom break.
- If a man is having sex with an HIV positive woman and the condom breaks, it is better to stop action and get cleaned, first. Later wear a fresh condom and get into the act. However, the man is advised go for PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) treatment where ART medications are given.
- If you have HIV only using a condom during sex is not enough. One needs to regularly take the ART medication to reduce the viral load so that he/she has lesser chances of infecting the partner.
Image source: Shutterstock