HIV Basics

  • HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus

  • HIV weakens your body’s ability to fight infections and other health problems.

  • AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

  • When HIV is not treated it weakens the body’s immune system and over time can become sick with a life-threatening infection.  At this point you are said to have AIDS.

  • Anyone can be infected with HIV, regardless of your age, sex, race or ethnicity, or who you have sex with.

  • HIV can be passed from an infected person to an uninfected person through: semen, blood, rectal fluid, vaginal fluid and breastmilk.

HIV & AIDS Basic Facts 2010, CATIE Client resources.