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What is HIV/AIDS?
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a condition that destroys the body's immune defense system. It is caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). After HIV invades the body it lives in the white blood cells, which are the cells that protect the body from disease.
How is HIV transmitted?
A person becomes infected by:
- Having sex without a condom with someone who is infected.
- Injecting drugs/medication with a needle used by someone who is infected.
HIV can be transmitted only through body fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk.
What medical treatments are there for HIV disease?
There is no cure for AIDS, however, with new medications and protease inhibitors available, people diagnosed as being HIV+ are living longer. In the early years of the epidemic many died within two years.
Why is it important to test for HIV?
If you test negative, take precautions to keep yourself healthy. If you test positive, immediately seek the treatment and support you will need. Also, tell anyone who was exposed to your blood, semen or vaginal fluid, including sexual partners or needle sharing partners. If you do not feel you can tell them, have your physician, case manager, or trusted friend/family member inform these partners.
For testing locations, please refer to our "CONTACT" tab above.