By Erin Cunningham | Fort Carson Army Public Health Nursing
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus spread through certain human body fluids and attacks the human body’s immune system.
The damage the virus causes in the immune system makes it harder for the body to fight off infection and disease. There is no cure, but there are excellent treatments and control measures. If taken appropriately, HIV treatment may lead to HIV being undetectable in the human body and being a lower risk for transmitting the virus to others.
Never forget that HIV is not curable, but the medical community does have many ways to decrease the risk of contracting HIV.
Control measures for HIV include abstinence or not having sex at all. Abstinence is the best way to prevent getting HIV from a sex partner. No sex reduces the risk to almost zero. But there are other ways to reduce the risk of contracting HIV; using condoms or barriers when having sex, taking medication to prevent transmission of HIV, getting tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) regularly, reducing the number of partners and the most important of all may be to talk to partners about HIV and other STDs.
Talking to potential partners about STDs and HIV testing and HIV status is critical. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that when sex partners talk to each other about being intimate and infections that may arise in the relationship, the partners are more likely to use all other means of risk-reduction strategies, such as using condoms and getting tested.
Visit https://www.cdc.gov/hiv for more information and resources.