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What are some ways of preventing HIV contraction?

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Using prophylactics during sex, getting circumcised if male and using sterilized needles for injections may help prevent a person from contracting human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, according to Mayo Clinic. Taking certain drugs, such as Truvada, may also protect against the virus.

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Using condoms during sex can significantly cut the risk of contracting HIV, states Mayo Clinic. Applying water-based lubricants to the prophylactics instead of oil-based lubricants may prevent the condoms from breaking or bursting. When performing oral sex, partners should use nonlubricated condoms that are cut open. Women may use female condoms during intercourse.

Avoiding sharing needles and using new needle when taking injections also help to protect against the virus, according to Mayo Clinic. Community needle-exchange programs may help supply new needles. Medical evidence shows that males who are circumcised are less likely to get the virus as compared to uncircumcised males.

Emtricitabine-tenofovir, also known as Truvada, helps to prevent and treat HIV; however, the drug does not fully protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, explains Mayo Clinic. Individuals should test for hepatitis B before taking the medicine. HIV-positive persons should talk openly with their partners and encourage them to get an HIV test to prevent spreading the virus.

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