When outside the body and within blood, semen, vaginal fluid, rectal fluid, or breast milk, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has a relatively short and fragile existence, and can be easily eliminated with soap, bleach, peroxide, or some spermicides.

There is a significant caveat when it comes to spermicides eliminating in vitro HIV. Spermicides containing nonoxynol-9 (N9) do not eliminate HIV infection because N9 irritates, and even causes inflammation of the soft tissues in the mouth, and linings of the vagina and rectum. N9 may even increase the risk of HIV infection. Most, if not all, US spermicidal creams, jellies, foams, gels, films, and suppositories’ active ingredient is N9.

In addition to barrier methods of contraception like male or female condoms, the best way to eliminate sexually transmitting HIV infection is with pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) medications. When taken daily, PrEP medications lower the risk of getting HIV by as much as 99%.

Although there is no cure for AIDS, those infected with HIV can lead long, healthy lives with daily antiretroviral drug therapy. One to six months of antiretroviral therapy can make HIV levels undetectable, and thereby reduces the chances of HIV infection developing into AIDS to nearly zero percent. When a person with HIV infection has undetectable levels of HIV, their risk of sexually transmitting HIV effectively vanishes.

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Dr. Don Lucas, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology and head of the Psychology Department at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio Texas. He loves psychology, teaching, and research.

If you like this paper, check out Don’s YouTube channel, 5MIweekly: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQFQ0vPPNPS-LYhlbKOzpFw/featured, like his Facebook page: http://fb.me/5MIWeekly, and check out his Medium site: https://humansexuality.medium.com/

HIV, AIDS, safe sex, men’s health, women’s health, human sexuality

I am a Professor of Psychology at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio Texas. My research focus is human sexuality. I also host a YouTube channel, 5MIweekly.

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