(What all should you do, so as not to get infected)
Avoid sex with multiple partners or even with a single partner who in turn has multiple partners (ideally speaking stick to one single, absolutely faithful partner).
If sex is unavoidable, always wear a condom (though there is no guarantee, at least this offers the best protection) - e.g. during sex with a Community Sex worker. Other methods of contraception provide NO protection.
Avoid unnatural modes of sex (anal/ oral)
Avoid intravenous drug abuse - and if unavoidable at least don't share needles and syringes you can use disposable ones.
Take blood transfusions, only when you must and that too from a blood relative / friend and after getting it thoroughly tested.
Petting, Masturbation, Mutual Masturbation are the safest alternatives to sex.
Insist that your barber use a fresh blade every time he shaves / cuts your hair.
Always insist on disposable needles and syringes when taking shots.
Contact your local AIDS Counselling Centre / Government hospitals for any further clarifications.
Remember even a single act of unprotected intercourse (forget the complete act, even unprotected penetration without going the whole way) with an infected partner can lead to infection.
Active research is going on at such a rapid rate, that a few of the concepts (true at the time of going to print) might turn out to be invalid in days / months to come.
The write-up is an extremely simplified picture of the very complex disease process. The above stated points are accepted by the majority. However not all doctors/ specialists might be in agreement with all the points.
Dr Vivek Jain is Skin, VD and Sex specialist, practising in Baroda.
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