HIV

HIV

Public Health Fact Sheet

What is HIV?
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) weakens a person's immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. As the virus gradually destroys these cells, the immune system becomes unable to protect against illness. No effective cure exists for HIV. With proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. 

How is HIV spread?
Getting HIV infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids into your body can put you at risk. This includes having unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex and sharing needles or drug works.

How can HIV be prevented?
  • Practice abstinence.
  • If you choose to have sex, use a new latex condom with a water-based lubricant every time you have sex.
  • Don’t share needles, toothbrushes, eating utensils or razors that could be contaminated with blood or body fluids.
  • Don’t shoot drugs. If you do shoot drugs, stop and get treatment.
  • A prescription medication called PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is available for those at higher risk of acquiring HIV. 
Additional information is available on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/hiv/default.html
Symptoms of HIV

  • Constant tiredness
  • Persistent fever
  • Swollen glands
  • Dry nagging cough
  • Chronic yeast infections
  • Changes in memory or vision
  • Diarrhea that won't go away

  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Significant weight loss
  • Sores or rashes that won't go away
  • Night sweats
  • Unusual or persistent infections
February 2020