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A Word from WISE

June, 1999

The transmission and prevention of HIV and other infections are important issues for women living with HIV. Too often, the emphasis on these issues is solely on preventing the transmission of HIV to uninfected partners or unborn children. But prevention issues for HIV-positive women go beyond this somewhat narrow approach.

Understanding the risks and modes of infection transmission in general, and incorporating prevention strategies into your life, can make a real difference in your own health. In fact, regardless of your partner's HIV status -- or whether you have a partner at all -- the importance of preventing further infection increases when you're living with HIV.

This issue of WISE Words explains why this is important and offers some guidelines for prevention. Safer sex can protect you from sexually transmitted infections. It can also protect you from other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia, hepatitis, gonorrhea and herpes, all of which can weaken your immune system and make life more complicated. Other non-sexually transmitted infections can also become troublesome. This WISE Words addresses issues related to STDs as well as infections that can be acquired casually. It also offers strategies for protecting yourself and your health.

Despite the fact that more and more women are having healthy, HIV-negative babies, the possibility of transmitting HIV from mother-to-child remains a concern. This issue also briefly talks about HIV prevention strategies for pregnant women. For more detailed information on this subject, please call Project Inform's National HIV/AIDS Treatment Hotline and request the Mother-to-Child HIV Prevention Discussion Paper.

Remember, protecting yourself from infections will help you stay healthy longer. Stay safe!

-- Angela Garcia
Program Manager, Project WISE/Women's Treatment Information and Advocacy

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