What is HIV?
HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system cells. This prevents the body from fighting off future infections. When left untreated, HIV can progress to AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Living with HIV can be manageable with antiretrovirals medication to help lower you HIV viral load to where you’re unable to transmit HIV to others and lab tests cannot detect it. HIV cannot be cured only managed.
What does HIV stand for?
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
What does AIDS stand for?
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
How is HIV Spread?
HIV is spread through Vaginal Fluids, Rectal Fluids, Semen, Pre-Cum, Blood, and Breast Milk.
What are the symptoms of HIV?
Fever, Chills, Night Sweats, Muscle Aches, Rash, Swollen Lymph Nodes, Mouth Ulcers, and Fatigue.
Who is at Risk?
Anyone can get HIV. However, certain groups of people have a higher risk for contracting HIV such as men identifying as Gay or Bisexual, Black heterosexual women, Black and Latino Men who have sex with men, young adults ages 13-24, people who inject drugs, and people who identify as transgender.
How can I prevent getting HIV?
- Contracting HIV can be prevented by taking PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) which is a pill you take once a day that helps lower your risk from contracting HIV. PrEP services are available at any HealthNet center. For more information about PrEP, click here.
- Using barrier methods during sexual encounters such as a dental dam, internal condom, or external condom can lower your risk from not only contracting HIV but other sexually transmitted infections like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, or Trichomoniasis.
- Getting tested regularly for sexually transmitted infections before, during, after all new or currents sex partners.
- Communicating with your sexual partners about their sexual history and if you or they have other sexual partners.