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Practicing Safer Sex

You might not be thinking about intimacy at this point in time if you're dealing with the news that you have HIV. But the time may come when you're ready to have a physical relationship again. When that time comes, it's important to be smart about what you're doing. And being smart means practicing safer sex.

In the interest of self-care and the care of your partner:

  • Learn safer sex practices and use them. Remember, safer sex is about more than not passing HIV to anyone else. There are many other diseases that you do not want to catch from another person
  • Support groups offer excellent opportunities to discuss sexual and relationship issues

How can you prevent spreading HIV?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a concern for everyone, so use a condom. It not only helps protect your partner, it helps protect you, too. But remember, no protective method is 100% effective. Condom use cannot guarantee absolute protection from an STI.

Other ways to help prevent spreading HIV:

  • Ask your sexual partner to get tested for HIV
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol, which can lower your inhibition. Drugs and alcohol may impair your judgment, which can lead to unprotected sex and increase the risk of spreading HIV

Your sexual partners should be made aware of your condition. Give some thought to how you will handle this conversation. Use all the resources available to you to make this conversation easier: talk to your doctor or counselor, and ask for advice at your local AIDS service organization (ASO).