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What can decrease HIV risk?

Many factors can decrease someone's chance of getting or transmitting HIV. Abstinence is the best way to prevent getting HIV from a sex partner. For people who are sexually active, there are more tools available today to prevent HIV than ever before. Choosing less risky sexual behaviors, taking medicines to prevent and treat HIV, or using condoms with lubricants are all highly effective ways to reduce the risk of getting or transmitting HIV. Additionally, men who are circumcised have a lower chance of getting HIV from having vaginal sex than men who are not circumcised.

Reducing the number of partners you have can lower the chances that you will have a sex partner who will transmit HIV to you. There are different ways that partner communication and agreements you make with your partners can decrease your chances of getting or transmitting HIV. However, the accurate exchange of information about HIV status and sexual partners is critical for these strategies to work. Because your partner may not know their HIV status, or is unable to tell you this information, it is hard to ensure that these strategies will actually decrease your risk. In fact, these strategies may increase your risk.