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Prevention of Hiv Transmit Ion

Prevention of Hiv Transmit Ion

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Published by: herbert_musoke on Nov 21, 2010
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How can HIV transmission be prevented?
HIVcan be transmitted in three main ways:
Sexual transmission
Transmission through blood
Mother-to-child transmissionFor each route of transmission there are things that an individual can do to reduce or eliminate risk. There are also interventions that have been proven to work at thecommunity, local and national level.
Wherever there is HIV, all three routes of transmission will take place. However thenumber of infections resulting from each route will vary greatly between countries and population groups. The share of resources allocated to each area should reflect the natureof the local epidemic - for example, if most infections occur among men who have sexwith men then this group should be a primary target for prevention efforts."Knowing your epidemic in a particular region or country is the first, essential step inidentifying, selecting and funding the most appropriate and effective HIV preventionmeasures for that country or region." -
UNAIDS guidelines for HIV prevention
HIV prevention should be comprehensive, making use of all approaches known to beeffective rather than just implementing one or a few select actions in isolation. SuccessfulHIV prevention programmes not only give information, but also build skills and provideaccess to essential commodities such as condoms or sterile injecting equipment. It should be remembered that many people don’t fit into only one “risk category”. For example,injecting drug users need access to condoms and safer sex counselling as well as supportto reduce the risk of transmission through blood.
Who needs HIV prevention?
Anyone can become infected with HIV, and so promoting widespread awareness of HIVthrough basicHIV and AIDS education is vital for preventing all forms of HIV transmission. Specific programmes can target key groups who have been particularlyaffected by a country’s epidemic, for examplechildren, women, men who have sex with men,injecting drug users andsex workers.Older people are also a group who require  prevention measures, as in some countries an increasing number of new infections areoccurring among those aged over 50.
HIV prevention needs to reach both people who are at risk of HIV infection and thosewho are already infected:
People who do not have HIV need interventions that will enable them to protectthemselves from becoming infected.
People who are already living with HIV need knowledge and support to protecttheir own health and to ensure that they don’t transmit HIV to others - known as“positive prevention”. Positive prevention has become increasingly important asimprovements in treatment have led to a rise in the number of people living withHIV.
HIV counselling and testing are fundamental for HIV prevention. People living with HIVare less likely to transmit the virus to others if they know they are infected and if theyhave received counselling about safer behaviour. For example, a pregnant woman whohas HIV will not be able to benefit from interventions to protect her child unless her infection is diagnosed. Those who discover they are not infected can also benefit, byreceiving counselling on how to remain uninfected.
The availability and accessibility of antiretroviral treatment is crucial; it enables people living with HIV to enjoy longer, healthier lives, and as such acts as an incentive for HIVtesting. Continued contact with health care workers also provides further opportunitiesfor prevention messages and interventions. Studies suggest that HIV-positive people may be less likely to engage in risky behaviour if they are enrolled in treatment programmes.
Sexual transmission
What works?
Someone can eliminate or reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV during sex bychoosing to:
Abstain from sex or delay first sex
Be faithful to one partner or have fewer partners
Condomise, which means using male or female condomsconsistently and correctlyThere are a number of effective ways to encourage people to adopt safer sexual behaviour, including media campaigns, social marketing, peer education and small groupcounselling. These activities should be carefully tailored to the needs and circumstancesof the people they intend to help.
Comprehensivesex educationfor young people is an essential part of HIV prevention.This should include training in life skills such as negotiating healthy sexual relationships,as well as accurate and explicit information about how to practise safer sex. Studies haveshown that this kind of comprehensive sex education is more effective at preventingsexually transmitted infections than education that focuses solely on teachingabstinence until marriage.
A condom vending machine in Vatican City Numerous studies have shown that condoms, if used consistently and correctly, arehighly effective at preventing HIV infection.
Also there is no evidence that promotingcondoms leads to increased sexual activity among young people. Therefore condomsshould be made readily and consistently available to all those who need them.
There is now very strong evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of HIVtransmission from women to men by around 50%, which is enough to justify its promotion as an HIV prevention measure in some high-prevalence areas.
However,studies of  circumcisionand HIV suggest that the procedure does not reduce the likelihood of male-to-female transmission, and the effect on male-to-male transmission isunknown.
Some sexually transmitted infections - most notablygenital herpes- have been found tofacilitate HIV transmission during sex. Treating these other infections may thereforecontribute to HIV prevention.
Trials in which HIV-negative people were given dailytreatment to suppress genital herpes have found no reduction in the rate at which they become infected with HIV. Nevertheless, there is evidence to suggest that treating genitalherpes in HIV positive people may reduce the risk of them transmitting HIV to their  partners. Further research is ongoing.
What are the obstacles?
It is usually not easy for people to sustain changes in sexual behaviour. In particular,young people often have difficulty remaining abstinent, and women in male-dominatedsocieties are frequently unable to negotiate condom use, let alone abstinence. Manycouples are compelled to have unprotected sex in order to have children. Others associatecondoms with promiscuity or lack of trust.
Some societies find it difficult to discuss sex openly, and some authorities restrict whatsubjects can be discussed in the classroom, or in public information campaigns, for moral

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