What is it?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. No effective cure exists for HIV. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
What to watch for.
- Symptoms show up months to years after infection.
- Can be present for many years with no symptoms.
- Unexplained weight loss or tiredness.
- Flu-like feelings that don’t go away.
- White spots in mouth.
- In women, yeast infections that don’t go away.
How do you get it?
- Spread during vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has HIV.
- Spread by sharing needles to inject drugs, or for any other reason.
- Spread by contact with infected blood.
What happens if you don’t get treated?
- You can give HIV to your sex partner(s) or someone you share needles with.
- Can cause illness and death, but medicines can control it.
- A mother with HIV can give it to her baby during childbirth, in the womb, or while breast feeding.
Can it be cured?
No, but there is treatment that can allow you to live a healthy life.
Is there a vaccination?
No, but there is PrEP a daily pill that you can take to prevent you from contacting HIV.