HIV / AIDS
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). HIV attacks the body’s white blood cells, which makes it hard for a person’s body to fight off infections.
You get HIV through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids – blood, pre-ejaculate (pre-cum), semen, vaginal fluids, and/or breast milk.
You or your partner can have HIV and not know it. It can be months or years before you feel sick or have any serious signs, but you can still pass HIV to others. Though some people have no symptoms, signs of HIV may include: rapid weight loss, fever, diarrhea, night sweats, or feeling very tired. The only way to know for sure is to get tested.
The test for HIV usually uses a blood sample. HIV doesn’t show up in the test results right away – it can take up to 3 months after someone has been exposed to HIV for them to test positive.
HIV cannot be cured. There are some medicines that can slow down the progress of HIV for a long time, but the virus is still in the body. It can still be passed to others, even if the person who has it feels fine. If you have HIV, your doctor will make a treatment plan for you, with special medicines. It is very important to tell your partner(s) if you have HIV.