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The Basics

HIV, AIDS, Transmission, and Common Questions.

WHAT IS HIV?

Once HIV enters the body, it begins to weaken the immune system. Without proper HIV treatment, a person's immune system becomes weaker and they can become sick from various infections, often referred to as "opportunistic infections."

There is no known cure for HIV; however, with proper HIV treatment, the virus can be managed like any other chronic illness and most people with HIV stay healthy.

WHAT IS AIDS?

AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

If HIV is not diagnosed and treated, the immune system generally becomes weaker over time. Eventually, a person with HIV can become sick with a life-threatening infection (known as an opportunistic infection), leading to an AIDS diagnosis. In other words, an AIDS diagnosis requires two things:

1) the presence of HIV in the body

2) an opportunistic infection

HOW IS HIV TRANSMITTED?

HIV is transmitted when an adequate amount of HIV from an HIV-positive person gets into an HIV-negative person’s body. Only five body fluids can contain enough HIV to infect someone else:

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Blood

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Semen

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Vaginal Fluid

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Anal Fluid

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Breast Milk

CENTERING WOMEN’S EXPERIENCES

“A person who is living with HIV is a person like anyone else, and has the right to share love, the right to love, to be loved, to be sexual with someone who loves them.”


— Woman living with HIV

COMMON QUESTIONS

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