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stds and hiv

To be prepared, talk to your partner about condoms and safer sex.
take control.
How can I avoid getting HIV?
The best ways to protect yourself from HIV are: Don't have any kind of sex (vaginal, oral or anal) and don't share needles to inject anything (drugs, steroids, hormones, vitamins or medicine). For more on drug use and HIV risk, scroll down on this NYS Department of Health Risk Reduction page.

If you have vaginal or anal sex,
use a latex male condom or a female condom the right way each time for safer sex.

If you have oral sex, use a dental dam or condom for safer oral sex.

Limit the number of partners you have, and know their HIV status and yours: Get Tested.

If you get tattoos or piercings, be sure the artist uses only new, sterile needles and safe tools.

Did you know?
Having one STD makes it more likely that you will get another STD, including HIV.
African Americans are fighting AIDS: visit Greater Than AIDS.

HIV: The Basics

HIV: The Basics

What is HIV?

  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that can cause AIDS. If a person is "HIV infected," he or she can pass the virus to other people.
  • People infected with HIV may have no symptoms for 10 or more years. They may not know they are infected.
  • An HIV test is the only way to find out if they have HIV. See HIV Testing Sites or call 1-800-541-AIDS for information and resources on HIV testing in New York State.
  • Visit National HIV and STD Testing Resources for testing sites in the United States.

What is AIDS?

AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is the late stage of HIV infection, when the immune system becomes very weak from HIV infection and/or the HIV-infected person has serious illness linked to HIV.

How do you get HIV?

HIV is found in four body fluids:
  • Blood
  • Semen (cum and pre-cum)
  • Vaginal fluid
  • Breast milk
You can get HIV:
  • By having sex (vaginal, oral, or anal) without a condom with someone who has HIV.
  • By sharing needles, syringes, or works that have already been used by someone who has HIV.
  • Also, if you're pregnant and you have HIV, you can pass HIV to the baby during pregnancy, at delivery or through breastfeeding. But if you are HIV infected, you can lower that risk by taking certain medicines during and after pregnancy.

You can NOT get HIV from...

NONE of these will give you HIV: HIV: The Basics
  • Hugging, kissing, shaking hands, and other casual contact (for more on deep kissing see the NYS Department of Health page on Transmission - scroll down down to "Can I get HIV from kissing?")
  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Tears, saliva, or sweat
  • Sharing drinking glasses, plates, forks, etc.
  • Public bathrooms and drinking fountains
  • Swimming pools or hot tubs
  • Bug bites
  • Pets

Is there a cure?

No. There is no cure for HIV or AIDS. Once a person has HIV infection, he or she has it for life and can pass the virus to others. But there are medications that fight HIV and help people with HIV and AIDS live longer, healthier lives. Get Tested, Get Treated to stay healthy. Call 1-800-541-AIDS (2437) for more information about testing anywhere in New York State.

What if I have HIV?

People can live positively with HIV. To find patient resources and support anywhere in New York State, call 1-800-541-AIDS (2437).
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