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Lower your chances of contracting HIV, even if you’re exposed
We’ve made some incredible strides since the HIV epidemic began. We’ve learned how to test, reduce the risk of spreading, and treat people that have HIV. We’ve also learned how to lower your chances of contracting the virus, even if you’ve been exposed. With World AIDS Day on December 1, now is a great time to ask your doctor about ‘PrEPping’ your body to lower your risk of infection and help end HIV.
PrEP can decrease your risk
HIV medications can keep you healthy, whether you’ve been diagnosed or not. If you don’t have HIV, but take the medicines that help treat it, it’s called PrEP or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. By using PrEP, Veterans' chances of being infected are much lower. Using PrEP can reduce the risk of contracting HIV through sex by more than 90% and shared needles by more than 74%.
It takes all of us to stop HIV. By getting tested, using PrEP, and being safe, we can stop HIV from spreading and end the virus.
All Veterans should be tested for HIV infection at least once, regardless of risk factors. It’s important to know your HIV status, and both PrEP and HIV testing are readily available at VA. Use Secure Messaging (sign in required) to talk to your health care team and schedule an HIV test at your next appointment. Knowing your status and being treated early can keep you and others healthy and alive.