What it is
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. You can get HIV if you do any of the following:
- Have sex with someone who has HIV. It can be spread by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Your
partner could have HIV and not know it.
- Share needles with someone who has HIV.
Be aware that:
- A mother who has HIV can pass it on to her baby before the baby is born, during childbirth,
or through her breast milk.
- If you have any other STD, it could be easier for you to get infected with HIV.
You or your partner can have HIV and not know it. It can be months or years before you feel
sick or have any serious signs. But you can still pass HIV to others. Though some people have no symptoms, some signs of HIV
- Rapid weight loss
- Night sweats
- Feeling very tired
How HIV spreads
HIV is passed through:
- Vaginal fluids
- Breast milk
If you get HIV, it can affect every part of your body. Treatment can help with this, but the
virus is still in your body and you can pass it to others.
HIV can cause these problems:
- You can give it to others.
- You have a higher chance of getting other STDs and infections.
- Over time, HIV keeps your body from fighting off diseases.