What is HIV/AIDS?
• HIV is Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
• HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
• AIDS is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
How HIV is Transmitted
HIV is transmitted from one person to another by infected:
• Vaginal fluids
• Breast milk
• Pre-Ejaculate fluid (pre cum)
You CAN get HIV from a person who is infected through:
• Sex: having unprotected anal, vaginal or oral sex (without a condom).
• Needles: sharing unclean needles and syringes to inject drugs, steroids or vitamins or sharing needles for body piercing, tattoos or becoming "blood brothers.“
• Mother to Child: through pregnancy, birth or breast feeding.
• Contaminated Blood Products: before 1985 donated blood was not tested. Today all donated blood and blood products are tested for HIV.
Symptoms May Include:
• Fever or chills
• Swollen lymph nodes
• Sore throat
• Weight loss
• Muscle aches
• Joint pain
• Night sweats
• Pain in feet or fingers
• Headaches/stiff neck
• Sores in the mouth, genital or rectal area
• Oral thrush
• A spotty rash on the torso
Please note that all symptoms may not be present; and are also common symptoms for other common diseases, so it is important to know your status.
Lowering Your Risk
• Use latex squares (dental dams), plastic wrap or an unlubricated condom cut in half for oral sex with a woman or for mouth to anus sex. There are a variety of flavored water-based lubricants that are available that may enhance pleasure with these acts. NOTE: The FDA has not approved any of these devices for the sexual acts mentioned.
• Use condoms for oral sex with a man.
• Use condoms and lubricant for vaginal or anal sex.
• Please each other with safer activities such as massage, masturbation or body rubbing, which do not involve the exchange of blood, semen, vaginal fluids or pre-ejaculate fluid.
• Know if you or the person you are having sex with is HIV-infected.
• Limit the number of sexual partners.
• Avoid the use of alcohol or recreational drugs before having sex. Drugs and alcohol may influence your decision and may reduce your ability to practice safer sex.