HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) affects the body’s immune system. If left untreated, HIV can cause AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) seriously harming the body’s immune system, resulting in serious illness and disease. Not everyone who has HIV will develop AIDS.
The HIV virus is found in blood, semen, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids and breast milk. The most common way HIV is caught is through unprotected vaginal and/or anal sex or by sharing syringes or needles to inject drugs.
HIV has to be diagnosed through a blood test.
There is no cure for HIV but there are very effective treatments available which allow people with HIV to stay well and lead normal, healthy lives. For more information on HIV, including treatment and information about testing please visit the HIV section of our website.
The best and most effective way of preventing all STI’s including HIV, is to practice safer sex. This means using a condom. Another prevention method for HIV is PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for more information on PrEP please visit the HIV/PrEP section of our website