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Prevention of Sexual Transmission of HIV

Reducing the risk of HIV

Someone can eliminate or reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV during sex by choosing to: Consistent and correct use of condoms during sex prevents HIV transmission

  • Abstain from sex or delay first sex
  • Be faithful to one partner or have fewer partners
  • Condomise, which means using male condoms or female condoms consistently and correctly

The three points above form what is known as the ABC prevention approach. However, preventing the sexual transmission of HIV involves more than using condoms, and abstaining or being faithful.

The role of sexuality and sexual health education

There are issues to do with the effective use and availability of condoms, as well as social and gender aspects that can make the ABC approach more or less successful.

As such, other ways of reducing the sexual transmission of HIV, such as male circumcision are being promoted, while there is benefit in improving people's understanding of issues around sexuality and safer sex, and the role of sex education.

Raising awareness of the benefits of regular HIV testing as well as the risk of other sexually transmitted infections is also important for the prevention of sexual transmission of HIV.

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