Avoid getting AIDS HIV and other STDs

Protecting yourself with the proper form of protection, basically by using a condom, you can avoid contracting HIV, AIDS and STD's (Sexually transmitted diseases). Condoms create a barrier that prevents contact of semen, bacteria and viruses, as well as, infectious particles and are essential in the prevention of the spreading these viruses.

The two types of condoms on the market are male latex condoms and female condoms. Always use a new condom each time you have sex and only purchase condoms that are made to prevent you from contracting HIV or AIDS. To avoid infection, a condom should always be put on properly before there is any genital contact.

Never use a petroleum based lubricant such as hand lotion or Vaseline because the additives in these products may cause the rubber in a latex condom to break. Ensure that your condoms are stored in a dry and cool place out of any direct sunlight and make sure to check the integrity of any condom kept in your wallet for more then a few hours at a time. If your condom appears brittle, discolored or even sticky, it is damaged; do not use it. During anal sex do not move to vaginal sex without first changing the condom. If you do not have an extra condom move from vaginal to anal sex.

Use a dental dam, also known as a latex square, during oral sex. You can also use any unused condom by cutting it lengthwise to create a barrier. Make sure that you have good oral health, but do not brush, floss or use mouth wash for at least one hour prior to oral sex; this prevents opened wounds and bleeding gums, that can contract disease easier. During foreplay use a surgical glove to cover any cut or sore on the hand and wash your hands with a bacterial soap after any foreplay. This will also assist you in preventing being infected or spreading HIV, AIDS or an STD. The best way to avoid being infected by of any viruses is either to not have sex, or alternatively have only one partner and be monogamous.

The diagnosis of HIV or AIDS based on any one symptom is difficult because with HIV, the symptoms differ with each individual and sometimes do not show up at all or for some time. The best way to find out if you have been infected is to take an HIV test because you can immediately pass the virus on to others. It usually takes about 3 months after infection before it will show up on any HIV tests though.

HIV virus causes AIDS and without an antiretroviral treatment, over a period of time, the immune system shall weaken and a person will be highly vulnerable to catching more opportunistic infections.

People that are infected may have no symptoms at all, though many people have been known to develop brief flu like illness within two to four weeks. There are different phases of the infection and it all depends on what stage you are in that certain symptoms will start happening to your body. A person can remain free of any symptom for years but later on as the virus multiplies it destroys a person's immune cells and they will have more chronic symptoms. Some signs of this infection may include weight loss, cough and shortness of breath, persistent white spots or lesions on the tongue, or unexplained fatigue and shaking chills that could last for several weeks.

If an infected person does not receive treatment, HIV typically progresses to AIDS in approximately 10 years. But, this can vary quite a bit and is possible to occur within even one year. By this time, the person living with HIV has a severely weakened immune system and a person with AIDS is highly prone to opportunistic infections. Though there is no cure yet, it is still possible, for a person even diagnosed with AIDS to recover and regain their immune system with today's medicine.

If you believe you may have been infected with HIV or any other STD, it is advised to get tested to make sure you are clean, especially before entering a new sexual relationship. Even if you are sure your previous partner was disease free, it is still a good idea to get tested every year or so to make sure. Most people unknowingly have HIV and are spreading it unintentionally. In the US, most cities have an STD testing service usually through the Department of Health that costs little or no money.

Std test clinic - Sexually transmitted diseases information