Prevention Methods

There is no single prevention of HIV, and thus AFRO would like to suggest multiple ways of preventions.

  • Practise safe sex
    Always use a condom properly during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Although the risk of contracting HIV through oral sex is lower than that of anal or vaginal sex, semen and pre-cum can still transmit HIV and it is still possible to contract HIV through oral sex, especially if you have wounds such as cold sores, or gum bleeding in your mouth.
  • Do not reuse condoms
    After oral sex, do not use the same condom for vaginal sex or anal sex. During oral sex, your teeth may create micro tears that are too small to be seen by the naked eyes. Always use a new condom for each new type of sex acts you engage in.
  • Do not wear two condoms at the same time
    Two condoms will increase friction, causing damage to the condoms, resulting in a loss of protection.
  • Never share needles or syringes
  • Handle wounds properly, avoid direct contact with blood.
  • For women planning to have babies, please ensure to take an HIV test to prevent the virus from being transmitted to the fetus.
  • In order to ensure your sexual health status, it is essential to take HIV detection test (either antibody or antigen) regularly.
  • Prophylaxis 
    Prophylaxis refers to the use of antiretroviral drugs as a preventive treatment of HIV infection both before and after the exposure to the virus. The purpose is to prevent the virus from progressing to the established stage of infection and spreading in the human body. It works by either preventing the infection for those who have not been exposed to HIV or by killing the virus within the body for those who have already been exposed. Its concept can be likened to female contraceptive pills. 

    There are two types of prophylaxis: (1) Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and (2) Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).  

    These two types of drugs are only suitable for those who have not been infected with HIV. They are not substitute for condom use and do not prevent infections of other types of STIs. They are only effective when you adhere to the medication schedule. Even so, taking a single pill before sex does not block the virus. If you have engaged in unprotected sex (sexual intercourse without proper condom use), you are still considered to be at high risk of HIV infection. 

8.1 Pre-exposure prophylaxis

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, utilises antiretroviral drugs that are designed to treat HIV as a preventive treatment to lower the chance that a person would contract HIV in a high exposure environment. 

Prior to taking PrEP, a person must undergo HIV testing to ensure that infection has not occurred. After starting treatment, a person should adhere to the medication regime and schedule, and undergo HIV testing every three months to confirm their infection status as this is the certify way to lower the chance of developing drug resistance. 


PrEP is not offered in the public healthcare system in Hong Kong. Only a number of private doctors prescribe them and their costs are relatively high. There are different ways to purchase PrEP online. There is, however, a likelihood that you may purchase fake drugs online unless you are certain about the reputation of the sellers.  Fake drugs can expose you to significant health risks. 

Although PrEP has relatively little side effects, they are not suitable for people who have renal and liver inefficiency. PrEP also has the potential to affect the kidney and reducing bone density.  People who plan to use PrEP should receive appropriate consultation and evaluation from medical professionals in regards to the correct use of the medication and whether or not you should start medication. 

8.2 Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, utilises antiretroviral drugs that are designed to treat HIV to lower a person’s chance of HIV infection after suspected exposure to the virus (within 72 hours). Its effectiveness varies depending on how much time has passed since exposure. The sooner you take it, the higher the effectiveness. Once treatment has started, a person must stay on the drugs for 28 consecutive days in order to lower the chance of infection. Due to the fact that PEP can delay virus replication and infection, those who are taking PEP should undergo HIV testing the day after, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months upon completing the first course of treatment.

Although PEP provides an additional layer of protection, it doesn’t lower the risk 100%. Therefore, you are advised to take precautions before engaging in risky activities. For example, correct use of condoms remains the most effective way in preventing HIV infections.