HIV is a virus that eventually leads to AIDS. It breaks down the immune system of an individual over a period of time and causes several diseases. HIV requires some fluid to pass the infection to another person.
Infection can pass through unprotected sex with an infected person, blood transfusion, used syringes and from mother to child. An infected mother can pass the infection to her child during pregnancy, at the time of delivery or through breast feeding too. These are the reasons why a HIV positive woman should think hard whether she should have a baby.
However, studies show that 25% of the women pass on the infection to the child. So, the decision to start family has to be taken by the HIV infected individual. Though abstinence from sex is one of the best methods of birth control but it is not easy and possible. So, there are several other methods of safe sex which an HIV infected individual can think of to control birth.
Barrier Methods For HIV Individuals
Barrier methods to control birth include using of condoms (male or female). Condoms also help to prevent the transmission of the HIV virus during sexual intercourse if worn properly. It is always recommended to use latex condom to avoid infection.
Female condoms are made of rubber and worn by females on their vagina before an intercourse. For better protection it is advisable to wear a new condom each time. Male condoms are worn by men on an erected penis during an intercourse. Studies have shown that both male and female condoms are equally effective in providing protection against HIV infection and other STIs.
Hormonal Contraceptives (HC) For HIV Individuals
Studies show that women infected with HIV can also take hormonal contraceptives in the form of pills or implants for birth control but there are several factors a woman should consult with the doctor before deciding on what hormonal contraceptive she should take.
An HIV infected woman may be taking antiretroviral drugs. These drugs may react with the hormonal contraceptives and increase the problems further. Hormonal contraceptives taken by an infected individual should not further progress the infection or cause adverse reactions in the body. No successful HC has yet been discovered that can include both the factors so HIV infected individuals still prefers barrier methods more than hormonal contraceptives. Some emergency contraceptives are also available that can be used by HIV infected individual but many are not aware of it.
IUD For HIV Individuals
Intrauterine devices which are progestin releasing or copper releasing are effective methods of birth control for HIV infected individual. However, it has been found that women with AIDS or taking anti-retroviral drugs should not use IUD as birth control measure. HIV infected person should however choose progestin releasing IUD because copper releasing leads to heavy menstrual bleeding and can eventually lead to anaemia which is not good.
Sterilisation For HIV Individuals
Male and female sterilisation is most effective method for birth control in HIV infected individual but it is irreversible so an individual should think twice before opting for it. It has been seen that females with HIV are forced into sterilisation which is unethical.