HIV stands for “human immunodeficiency virus."
It used to be called “human immune deficiency virus.”
AIDS stands for “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.”
You can't tellThey are very thinThe white of their eyes has a red tintThe skin on their face looks gray or yellowishThey have very prominent dark circles under their eyes
You can't tell if an individual has HIV just by looking at them.
HIV often has no physical symptoms, which is one reason why some people are unaware of their positive status. And sure, the HIV virus and medications can cause some physical changes to the body such as fat loss, but these vary depending on the individual and aren’t always visibly striking. Overall, people with HIV can still lead normal, healthy lives.
HIV can be transmitted to both men and women in a number of different ways. But anal sex is the riskiest sexual behavior for HIV transmission — for anyone. Women who have unprotected anal sex with someone who is HIV-positive face a higher risk of contracting the virus than if they were to have vaginal sex with someone who has HIV.
Rectal fluidVia champja / GettyBloodVia rockyoubaby / GettySemenVia iLexx / GettySalivaVia AntonioGuillem / GettyVaginal fluidVia Voyagerix / GettyPre-ejaculate (pre-cum)Via alexluengo / GettyBreast milkVia opel_ru / GettyMenstrual bloodVia pepifoto / GettyIt spreads though all of these!Via vchal / Getty
Saliva does not spread HIV.
HIV cannot be transmitted through saliva, urine, sweat, or snot. It can only spread to other people from an infected person’s blood, semen, pre-ejaculate, vaginal fluid, menstrual blood, rectal fluid, and breast milk. In order to get HIV, these fluids must come into direct contact with a mucous membrane (inside the vagina, penis, rectum, or mouth), broken or damaged tissue (like an open wound), or be injected straight into the bloodstream.
AIDS can lead to HIVHIV is transmitted during unprotected sex; AIDS is transmitted during IV drug use.HIV only affects men; AIDS only affects women.HIV only affects women, AIDS only affects men.HIV can lead to AIDS.Nothing — they're the same.
HIV can lead to AIDS.
HIV is the virus that initially infects people, and AIDS is the condition caused by an HIV infection in the body. AIDS is considered the final stage of HIV in humans. Without treatment, a person with AIDS can typically survive about three years. Not everyone with HIV will go on to develop AIDS. In fact, HIV will not progress to AIDS in most people today who are HIV-positive.
It attacks the sexual organs, making it difficult to reproduce.It attacks the immune system, making it harder to fight off infections.It attacks the circulatory system, making the blood toxic.It attacks the gastrointestinal system, making it difficult to gain weight or absorb nutrients.None of the above
HIV attacks the immune system, making it harder to fight off infections.
The virus specifically attacks CD4 cells (T-cells), which are white blood cells that help our body fight off infection and disease. That makes it easier to get infections and diseases. If HIV goes untreated for a long time, it can destroy enough CD4 cells that a person is unable to fight off anything. If HIV progresses to AIDS, the immune system is damaged enough that they become vulnerable to opportunistic infections and cancers, which can cause serious illness and death.
The amount of AIDS in your spinal fluid sampleThe number of CD4 (T-cells) in your bone marrow sample.The number of red blood cells divided by the HIV virus particles in your blood sampleThe amount of HIV in your blood sampleNone of the above
Viral load is the amount of HIV in your blood sample.
Viral load is determined by a test that measures the number of HIV particles, called “copies,” in a milliliter of blood. It’s useful for understanding the health status of HIV-positive individuals because it shows how well the body is fighting off HIV and how effective their medication is at helping the body control the virus. If your viral load is high, this means there’s more HIV in the body because your immune system is having trouble fighting it off.
You will never transmit the virus to other people.Your viral load is very low.Your HIV is completely cured.You no longer need medication.You can safely have unprotected sex with multiple partners.All of the above
When your HIV is undetectable, it means your viral load is very low.
An undetectable viral load is very low — usually between 40 to 75 HIV particles (copies) per one milliliter of blood, which means there’s very little HIV in the body. It’s usually the result of medications successfully helping the body fight off HIV. However, having an undetectable viral load does not mean you’re cured. You still test positive for HIV and need to remain on meds to keep your viral load low. It is much less likely that you’ll transmit HIV with an undetectable load, but you still need to use protection for several reasons: Sexual fluids can have a higher HIV viral load than blood, STDs can increase the risk of HIV transmission, and your viral load can go up between tests every three to six months.
This is true.
If a pregnant woman has HIV, there is a risk of mother-to-child transmission (aka vertical transmission) of the virus during pregnancy, labor, or breastfeeding. However, women can prevent passing HIV to their baby if they detect their HIV before or early in their pregnancy, follow a strict medication regimen while pregnant, deliver their baby by C-section (if a doctor deems it necessary), never breastfeed, and give the newborn HIV medication for four to six weeks after birth. These can all greatly reduce the risk of vertical transmission so an HIV-positive mother can give birth to a healthy, HIV-negative baby.
YesNoOnly during vaginal sexOnly during anal sex
Yes, they still need to use condoms.
There are multiple strains of the HIV virus and a person who’s infected with one strain can still become infected with a new strain if they get exposed through unprotected sex (or IV drug use). If this happens, it’s called a “superinfection” and it can cause another attack on the immune system, or make it harder to treat because the new strain may be resistant to the medications a person is already using. Additionally, unprotected sex can transmit other STDs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis — all of which can increase the risk of HIV transmission and take a toll on the immune system.
In September 1982, the CDC released a public report that provided the first case definition for “AIDS” (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). It read: “a disease at least moderately predictive of a defect in cell-mediated immunity, occurring in a person with no known case for diminished resistance to that disease.” Previously, AIDS had been referred to as an unknown predecessor of Kaposi’s sarcoma, gay-related immune deficiency (GRID), and “gay cancer” among the public.
Gay and bisexual menTeenagersLesbian and bisexual womenHeterosexual couples who have unprotected anal sex
Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men face the highest risk of contracting HIV.
In 2013, gay and bisexual men made up 55% of those living with HIV in the US. Gay and bisexual men also accounted for 83% of all new cases of HIV among males aged 13 and older in 2014. They are by far the most severely affected group in the US.
Unprotected anal sex as the receptive partnerUnprotected anal sex as the insertive partnerThe risk of HIV infection is the same in these two situations
Unprotected anal sex as the receptive partner poses the highest risk for HIV infection.
This is because the lining of the rectum is very thin, which could allow the virus to enter the body through a tear. However, the insertive partner is also at risk for HIV transmission during anal sex, as the virus could enter through the urethra or any open cuts or sores on the penis. The use of condoms and lubrication can greatly reduce the risk of HIV infection during anal sex.
1 week after exposure2 weeks after exposure3 weeks after exposure1 month after exposure2 months after exposure
Antibody tests can detect HIV as early as three weeks after exposure.
Antibody tests look for the immune proteins that respond to HIV infection, which can be found in blood or oral fluids. After HIV exposure, it can take 3–12 weeks for your body to develop those antibodies, which is called the window period. About 97% of people will develop detectable antibodies during this window, but if you get a negative test during this window and you think you've been exposed, you should be retested at the 3-month mark. Typically blood tests can detect HIV infection sooner than oral tests.
Prior exposure prescription, which is a vaccine for individuals at risk for HIV.Post-real exposure prophylaxis, which is a drug that blocks HIV from spreading in the body of an HIV-negative person.Polyribonucleic exposure pill, which is a medication for HIV-positive individuals.Pre-exposure prophylaxis, which is a drug that can lower your risk of getting infected with HIV.
PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis, and it helps an HIV-negative person lower their chances of infection.
PrEP is a combination drug approved for daily use to help prevent HIV infection in someone who is at a high risk. It's not a vaccine, but when taken once a day consistently, it can reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90% and from injection drug use by 70%.
ARTAVTHIV drug therapyDHPDDT
The typical course of treatment for HIV/AIDS is ART, aka antiretroviral therapy.
ART is a drug therapy that people with HIV must take daily in order to help their immune system recover and subsequently fight off any illnesses. It is not a cure for HIV, but it does reduce a person’s viral load and helps to prevent them from transmitting the virus to others. That way, they can lead a normal, healthy life.
People who have HIV sure can have sex with someone who isn’t infected. However, both partners should take steps to reduce the risk of transmission, like partaking in ART and PrEP, engaging in less-risky sexual behaviors, and using condoms consistently and correctly. See here for more tips on how to have safe sex with someone who is HIV-positive.
Common coldTuberculosisThe virus itselfPneumoniaRespiratory failure
The most common cause of death for people with HIV is tuberculosis.
Though it’s an infection of the lungs, tuberculosis can also affect the brain, spine, kidneys, and other organs. HIV and TB infections can work together, and for this reason, it’s the number one cause of death in people living with HIV.
1 in 31 in 61 in 81 in 11
One in eight people don't know they have HIV.
Yup. This happens because some people might not feel symptoms of the virus during the early stage of the disease, or they might mistake the symptoms as just another cold or flu. They might not also think to get the HIV antibody test or they just aren't getting regularly tested for STIs. After the early stage, which lasts about two to four weeks, it moves into the clinical latency stage, where symptoms are less likely to show up. Some people can have HIV for 10 years before symptoms start to show up.
Birth control pillsLatex condomsHormonal IUDsAll of the above
Condoms are the only contraceptive method that can reduce the risk of HIV infection.
However, they need to be worn the whole time, every time, to be truly effective. It's also important to use lube during sex to prevent condom breakage and tearing.
No, sharing a home with someone who is HIV-positive does not put you at an increased risk.
HIV cannot be transmitted through air or water; from sharing toilets, food, or drinks; from saliva, sweat, or tears; or from pets or insect bites. It can only be transmitted through blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk.