All people infected with HIV can pass the virus to others. This is true whether or not people know they are infected and whether or not they have HIV-related symptoms or an AIDS diagnosis.
having unprotected anal, oral, or vaginal sex with a person who has HIV or whose HIV status is unknown; and
sharing injection drug needles or “works” with a person who has HIV or whose HIV status is unknown.
Women with HIV infection can pass the virus to their babies during pregnancy, delivery, and through breastfeeding. Health care workers may be exposed to HIV through needlesticks and other blood contact.
Before 1985, some people were infected through blood transfusions or use of blood products. Since 1985, blood products are screened for HIV so that the risk of acquiring HIV through a blood transfusion is extremely low.
– working with or attending school with someone who is infected with HIV or has AIDS;
– touching or hugging;
– shaking hands;
– coughing or sneezing;
– getting bitten by insects;
– sharing cups, glasses, silverware, or plates;
– sharing toilets;
– swimming in pools or public baths; or
– donating (giving) blood.
– abstaining from vaginal, anal, or oral sex;
– having sex with only one faithful partner who is not infected;
– using a condom (rubber) during sex from start to finish;
– reducing the number of sexual partners;
– avoiding sex with others who have multiple partners; or
– avoiding using or sharing needles.
– extreme tiredness,
– loss of appetite and weight,
– night sweats, or
– persistent dry cough.
You should see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms and they last longer than two weeks.
The sooner people know they have HIV, the sooner they can make choices that will keep them healthier longer.
Precautions can be taken so the virus is not passed to others.
Couples considering pregnancy or women who are pregnant can discuss treatment options with their doctors to reduce the risk of their infant becoming infected.
Sex and needle-sharing partners can be told they have been exposed to HIV.