= Human (only infects humans)
= Immunodeficiency (causes the immune system to collapse)
= Virus (a germ that gets into the body and has no cure)
virus can enter the body through the lining of the vagina,
vulva, penis, rectum or mouth during unprotected sex.
HIV is not a disease that selects certain individuals with
certain characteristics, but it is a disease whose victims
are those that engage in particular behaviors.
= Acquired (not genetic, passed from one person to another)
I = Immune (affects the immune system)
= Deficiency (the body is not able to protect itself from
S = Syndrome (a collection of different symptoms or
is transmitted by four body fluids:
decrease transmission, keep these fluids away from:
can only occur by having direct contact with one or more of
these fluids in such a way that causes them to enter
directly into your bloodstream. Anytime you have direct
contact with these risk fluids, you may have been
"exposed" to HIV.
sex (vaginal, oral, & anal)
needles / Injection of drugs
born to HIV infected mothers
transfusions (rare, but possible)
share drug needles / drug works
ask partner's sexual history
number of sex partners
use a latex condom from start to finish during sex
(vaginal, anal, & oral) If allergic to latex, use
polyurethane (a type of plastic) condoms. If male
condoms are not available, use female condoms
oral sex, use protection such as a condom, dental dam (a
square piece of latex used by dentists), or plastic food
wrap. Do not reuse these items.
only water-based lubricants; do not use petroleum-based
jelly, cold cream, baby oil, or other oils because they
can weaken a condom and it may break
anal or rough vaginal intercourse
sex toys for your own use only and donít use someone
elseís sex toys
razors or toothbrushes for yourself & donít use
someone elseís razor or toothbrush
Source: "Living With
HIV/AIDS," Brochure, Divisions of HIV/AIDS Prevention,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 1998.
Johns Hopkins Health Information/Center
for Disease Control and Prevention
Asked Questions about HIV/AIDS Counseling & Testing
half of the people with HIV develop AIDS within 10 years,
but the time between infection with HIV and the onset of
AIDS can very greatly from individual to individual.
This is why people who could had been exposed should get
to the Center for Disease Control, the following are
questions some people might be asking themselves about
HIV-antibody counseling and testing.
If you know you
are infected, although there's no cure, there's clear
benefits to early treatment.
think I recently placed myself at risk of infection with
HIV. Should I get tested right away?"
Yes, but if you got infected, the test may not detect it
until a few weeks after infection. It can
take as little as 2 weeks, or it might take up to 6
months for your body to make enough antibodies.
You should continue counseling and testing until you
know you are not infected.
it take long to get an appointment to be counseled and
It really depends. Some facilities schedule
appointments very quickly, and others take a few weeks.
much does HIV counseling and testing cost?"
Most publicly funded sites are free or require only a
minimum fee. If you go to your doctor for counseling and
testing, the cost can vary, ask the cost beforehand.
I'm pregnant or thinking about having a baby, should I
be counseled and tested?"
If you or your sex or drug partner have engaged in
behaviors that can transmit HIV, you should get
counseling and testing. If you test positive you should
be aware that without treatment there is a one-in-four
chance that you will pass the virus to your unborn baby.
Medical treatment can reduce this to about 1 chance in
12. If you are already pregnant, you should tell your
health care provider that you tested positive. This will
help your provider care for you and your baby during and
after the pregnancy.
the Government keep track of those who test
The U.S. Public Health Service does not record or
collect names of people who test positive. The state
health departments that do collect names treat this
information as highly confidential. Call your
state or local health department to find out the laws in
partner tested negative. That means I'm not infected,
The only way to know whether you are infected is to have
your own test.
I continue to work if I have HIV infection?"
Yes, you can continue working if you have HIV infection.
HIV cannot be spread by contact that does not involve
blood, semen, or vaginal secretions. Many years after
infection, some people still have no symptoms and
continue to work productively. In the later stages of
HIV infection, illness may cause you to be too sick to
work. It depends on your health and your job duties.
can I find a doctor who will treat me?"
Call your local medical society. They should be able to
refer you to a doctor who will help you. For additional
help, you can contact a local AIDS organization. The
people there may be able to help you find a doctor who
is experienced with HIV and AIDS-related issues.
the telephone number of these organizations, call the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
National AIDS Hotline at 1-800-342-AIDS;
Spanish 1-800-344-7432; Deaf Access 1-800-243-7889