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HIV Care

HIV is a virus spread through certain body fluids that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells, often called T cells. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. These special cells help the immune system fight off infections. Untreated, HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body. This damage to the immune system makes it harder and harder for the body to fight off infections and some other diseases. Opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that the person has AIDS

HIV CAN BE TRANSMITTED BY

Sexual contact, sharing needles to inject drugs, mother to baby during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.

HIV IS NOT TRANSMITTED BY

Air or water, saliva, sweat, tears, or closed-mouth kissing, insects or pets sharing toilets, food, or drinks.

Protect Yourself From HIV

  • Get tested at least once or more often if you are at risk.
  • Use condoms the right way every time you have anal or vaginal sex.
  • Choose activities with little to no risk like oral sex.
  • Limit your number of sex partners.
  • Don’t inject drugs, or if you do, don’t share needles or works.
  • If you are at very high risk for HIV, ask your health care provider if pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is right for you.
  • If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV within the last 3 days, ask a health care provider about post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) right away. PEP can prevent HIV, but it must be started within 72 hours.
  • Get tested and treated for other STDs.
  • Find HIV care. It can keep you healthy and help reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others.
  • Take your HIV medicine as prescribed.
  • Stay in HIV care.
  • Tell your sex or drug-using partners that you are living with HIV. Use condoms the right way every time you have sex and talk to your partners about PrEP.
  • Get tested and treated for other STDs.

Keep Yourself Healthy and Protect Others If You Are Living With HIV

For more information about HIV/AIDS: visit https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/whatishiv.html