Get the facts about HIV & AIDS:
What are HIV and AIDS?
HIV (or Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). HIV damages the immune system, the part of the body that fights infection. Eventually, the immune system becomes so weak that diseases and infections begin to attack the body. As these conditions worsen, a person is diagnosed with AIDS.
How can you tell if someone is infected with HIV?
You cannot tell if someone has HIV or AIDS by looking at them. A person infected with HIV may look healthy and feel fine, but they can still pass the virus to you. An HIV antibody test is the way a person can find out if he or she is infected with HIV.
Anyone can become infected with HIV. It has nothing to do with race, age, religion, nationality or sexual orientation. People get infected with HIV because of what they do, not who they are.
How do you get infected with HIV?
HIV is spread through blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk. Contact with these body fluids puts you at risk for HIV infection:
How you WON'T get infected.
You cannot get HIV through the air or from casual contact. HIV is not spread by:
How can you avoid HIV infection?
Should you get an HIV test?
You should think about getting tested for HIV if you have:
Why should you take the test?
If you are infected with HIV, there are things you can do to stay healthy longer. Research shows that early treatment can help delay the onset of AIDS. You can also take steps to avoid infecting other people with HIV. If you are pregnant and infected with HIV, there are medicines you can take to reduce your baby’s risk of getting HIV.
For more information on how to get tested for HIV please visit our testing page or see the links below.
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