HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)is a virus that weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight diseaseand infection. If HIV is not treated,it can gradually destroy the immune system and progress to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), the most advanced stage of HIV infection. There is currently no effective cure for HIV, but with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled.
How is HIV spread?
HIV is spread only in certain body fluids: blood, sexual fluids, and breast milk. In the US, the most common ways that HIV are spread are:
- Having vaginal or anal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV.
- Sharing injection drug equipment, such as needles, with someone who has HIV.