Protection from HIV

How can you protect yourself and others from HIV?

  • Use condoms or femidoms when having vaginal sex (penis in vagina) or anal sex (penis in bum). Condoms and femidoms protect you from HIV and reduce the risk of infection with other sexually transmitted diseases. 

Treatment as prevention: Assuming that a person has undergone effective HIV treatment for at least six months, virtually no more HIV virus will be present in bodily fluids (blood, sperm, vaginal fluid and bowl secretion). In such a case, HIV can no longer be transmitted during sex, even without a condom. But it is important for the HIV medication to be taken on a regular basis and for a doctor to check regularly whether treatment is successful. It is also important for your HIV-negative partner to consent to not using a condom during sex in such cases.

PrEP (“Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis”): With PrEP, an HIV-negative person takes a certain HIV medication that protects against HIV infections.

Further information on the topic of “safer sex” can be found here.

  • When injecting drugs, use only your own syringes and needles and do not give them to other people. New syringes can be obtained from pharmacies and drug help centers.
  • Pregnant people with HIV can avoid transmission to their babies by taking medication against HIV and have HIV specialists attend the birth. Refraining from breastfeeding is also recommended. All pregnant people in Germany are offered an HIV test.

Can you get HIV in the course of everyday life?

No, there is no danger of infection in everyday life. You don’t need to have any concerns about living and working together with other people, shaking hands, hugging and kissing, using the same toilets, bathrooms and saunas, eating from the same plate, drinking from the same glass and using the same cutlery. HIV is not transmitted by air, saliva, tears, sweat, urine, excrement, nor is it transmitted by insect bites.