AIDS and HIV Infection • Preventing HIV transmission
Parents should make sure that children know the facts about HIV transmission and how they can protect themselves against infection.
Specifically, children should:
- be aware that HIV is transmitted through blood;
- avoid any skin-piercing procedures or accidental injury from unsterilized needles and other sharp instruments;
- receive injections or other medical or dental treatment only when necessary and only with properly sterilized equipment;
- receive blood transfusions only when medically necessary and only with properly screened blood; and
- avoid the risk of traumatic injury necessitating blood transfusion.
Older children need information and encouragement that will help them avoid becoming infected through unprotected sexual intercourse or through sharing drug-injecting equipment.
Children also need to be reassured about the ways in which HIV cannot be transmitted. They should be encouraged to be sympathetic toward children and adults who are infected, and should not fear becoming infected through casual contact with these persons.