In addition to HIV testing, it’s also important to get tested for other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs, often referred to as STDs).
These infections can be transmitted more easily than HIV; through oral sex, for example. And having an STBBI can increase your risk of contracting or transmitting HIV.
Being HIV-positive can also increase your risk of contracting other STBBIs and make it harder to treat the infection.
More information about STBBIs, can be found in the Pour une sexualité en santé brochure (available in French only) or by contacting an HIV organization in your area.
Vaccination, an effective way to protect yourself
It’s now possible to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, which are viruses that can cause liver damage, as well as against the human papilloma virus (HPV), which can cause genital or anal warts (condyloma) and lead to certain types of cancer. Hepatitis A and B can be contracted by licking, kissing or eating out the ass of an infected person. HPV can be transmitted through skin to skin contact, penetration, or oral sex, even when there are no warts.
Since 2008, all children in Quebec have been vaccinated against hepatitis A and B in the fourth grade. This vaccine is known to be effective for life. If you haven’t been vaccinated or aren’t sure, ask your doctor. A blood sample can be taken to check whether you’ve been vaccinated and to confirm that the vaccine is still effective.
The effectiveness of vaccination against hepatitis A and B may vary if you are living with HIV. It’s possible that you might need to get re-vaccinated. To have this checked, talk to your doctor.
Vaccination against HPV is available free of charge in Quebec to boys and young men between the ages of 9 to 26. If you’re over 26 or if you’re living with HIV, you can still get vaccinated, but you’ll have to pay for the vaccine. If you want to get vaccinated, talk to your doctor.
For more information about STBBIs, get in touch with an HIV organization in your area. To find an organization near you, enter your postal code in the search tool located in the right hand column.