HIV Prevention

Family Healthcare of Atlanta PC

Family Medicine & Aesthetics located in Atlanta, GA

Although there’s no cure for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), medications available today can suppress the virus so it’s nearly undetectable. If you’re curious about HIV prevention, board-certified family doctor Mark Tanner, MD, and the team at Family Healthcare of Atlanta PC in Atlanta, Georgia, offer education, counseling, and prescriptions for medications to prevent the spread of HIV. Call the office or book a confidential consultation online today.

HIV Prevention

What is HIV?

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a condition that weakens your immune system by attacking the vital cells that resist disease and infection. Although there's not a cure for HIV, proper medical care can prevent its spread and manage the condition if you're living with HIV.

How is HIV spread?

HIV spreads from one person to another through certain body fluids, such as:

  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Pre-seminal fluid
  • Rectal fluid
  • Vaginal fluid
  • Breast milk

For HIV to spread, one of these fluids must touch either a mucous membrane or an open wound through such things as sexual contact. 

Mucous membranes are found inside the vagina, rectum, penis, and mouth. HIV can also be spread by an injection into your bloodstream from an infected needle or syringe.

How is HIV prevented?

There are effective medicines that can prevent HIV. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a daily pill taken to block HIV. PrEP can prevent HIV from taking hold in your body. When taken consistently, PrEP is extremely effective at preventing the spread of HIV from sex or injected drugs. 

Studies find that daily PrEP reduces your risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99%. Because you need a prescription to use PrEP, you’ll want to visit Family Healthcare of Atlanta PC to discuss the medication as an option for HIV prevention.

You can also try other strategies to prevent the transmission of HIV. These strategies include abstaining from sex, using condoms every time you have sex, limiting your number of sexual partners, and never sharing needles.

How do I get medication to prevent HIV?

Discuss with your provider at Family Healthcare of Atlanta PC whether PrEP might be right for you. If you're interested in PrEP to prevent HIV, you need to take an HIV test to be sure you don’t already have HIV. 

Once you start PrEP, you'll visit Family Healthcare of Atlanta PC every three months for follow-up tests. Your provider monitors your health and answers any questions you have about HIV.

To learn more about HIV prevention or get needed HIV treatment, rely on the team at Family Healthcare of Atlanta PC for private, nonjudgmental care. Call or book your consultation online today.