Presentation on theme: "HIV and Safer Sex. HIV: The Basics AIDS is not going away. It is important to protect yourself, and to talk about it with the people you get high with."— Presentation transcript:
HIV: The Basics AIDS is not going away. It is important to protect yourself, and to talk about it with the people you get high with and your sexual partners. HIV = Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV is the retrovirus which causes AIDS. It destroys an important cell of the immune system, the T cells (CD4 cells). HIV is transmitted through the exchange of blood, semen, vaginal fluid or breast milk with an HIV infected person. You can ’ t get HIV by hugging, kissing, sharing cigarettes or sitting on a toilet seat. You can be infected by sharing needles, cookers, cottons, tourniquets and water.
HIV Testing The HIV test looks for antibodies. If you have antibodies, you are infected with HIV. If you don ’ t have antibodies it means either: You don’t have HIV or you have been infected with HIV, but your body hasn’t made the antibodies yet. You need to get tested every 3 months to be sure. The “ window period ” is the time it takes your body to create antibodies after you have been infected with HIV. This window period can be anywhere from a few weeks to 3 months. That is why it’ necessary to get tested every 3 months if you’re engaging in risky behaviors.
Preventing HIV Infection Use a sterile syringe each time you fix. Don ’ t share any injection supplies. Wear a condom when you have sex. Oral sex is safer than penetration, but you probably want to use a condom or dental dam anyways, so you don ’ t contract another STD. Bleach is only useful as a last resort. If you have to use it, then you need to fill the syringe and shake it for at least 2 minutes: Takes 30 seconds for bleach to kill HIV Takes 2 minutes for bleach to kill Hep B It is unclear if bleach kills Hep C It ’ s better to use a new needle than to bleach one.
Important Facts about HIV Injection drug use is related to 36% of all AIDS cases in the United States. Racial and ethnic minorities are the ones most heavily affected by IDU related AIDS. Women are particularly at risk: 57% of all AIDS cases among women are related to injection drug use or sex with a partner who shoots drugs, as opposed to 31% of cases among men. This means if you ’ re a woman (especially a woman of color) you are at a high risk and need to take the necessary precautions.
What is Safer Sex and Why it ’ s Important Safer sex is any type of sex that reduces risk of contracting anything. Things like mutual masturbation, hand jobs, oral, phone sex, as well as using condoms and dental dams. Try switching things up to make it interesting. Remember to keep your partners fluids out of your body. Things like blood, cum, pre-cum, vaginal fluids, and discharge from sores. Don ’ t touch sores or growths. Studies show that drug users are at risk of contracting HIV through both drug related and sexual behaviors. This means that you and your partner are both at risk.
What About Oral? Unprotected oral sex is the safest form of unprotected sex, but there is still a small risk of contracting HIV; although you can catch other STDs this way. The lining of your mouth is much tougher and less permeable than the lining of your anus or vagina.