Over time, HIV destroys the body's ability to respond to infections and certain cancers by damaging or killing cells of the body's immune system. HIV is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a serious condition that weakens your body’s ability to fight off disease. Being infected with HIV does not necessarily mean you have AIDS. If you do not sustain regular care, you could develop AIDS. There is no cure for HIV, but there are many medicines to fight both HIV infection and the infections and cancers that come with it. more

How HIV Spreads

An HIV-infected person can pass the virus on to others through blood, semen and vaginal fluids. Anyone who has unprotected sex or shares needles with an infected person can be exposed to HIV. Infected mothers can expose their babies to the virus during pregnancy, childbirth, or while breastfeeding. Anyone who is exposed to HIV may become infected.

You can’t get HIV by sharing dishes, toilets, or workspace with an infected person. You can’t get HIV by being coughed or sneezed on.

What You Should Do