HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) attacks the immune system, causing deficiency, and damaging the body's ability to fight disease and infections. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). AIDS affects the cells of the immune system and the body may have difficulty fighting off infectious diseases.
Who is at risk for HIV?
Most people who are infected with HIV have not been tested and are unaware they are living with the virus. Anyone who is sexually active or shares needles is at risk for HIV. A person cannot become infected with HIV through casual contact.
How to prevent becoming infected with HIV.
- Not having sex; if you have sex, use a condom
- Limit your sexual partners; having sex with multiple partners increases your chance of becoming infected with HIV
- Exchanging used needles for clean needles is the best prevention from becoming infected with HIV
Ask yourself these questions:
- Have you or your sex partner ever had sex without using a condom?
- Have you or your partner ever shared needles or syringes for injecting drugs, steroids or vitamins?
- Have you or your partner ever shared needles or ink for tattooing or piercing?
- Are you being treated for any sexually transmitted diseases?
- Are you pregnant?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, get an HIV test.
Call 253 798-6410 for more information about HIV/AIDS, needle exchange program and where to get an HIV test.
Gay and Bisexual Men's Health (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
For information about PrEP see these websites:
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