What is HIV?

  • HIV stands for the human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that causes AIDS.

How do you get HIV?

  • One common way to get HIV is to have unprotected sex with a partner that is infected with HIV. Another is through sharing needles with drug use. Mothers who have HIV can also pass HIV infections on to their children.

How do I know if I have HIV?

  • Most of the time, HIV infections do not have any symptoms. Early symptoms can feel like flu-like symptoms.

How do I get tested for HIV?

  • HIV can be tested using blood tests and saliva tests.
  • There are tests that you can get the results in 20 minutes and tests that you have to wait for at least a week for the results.
  • Some guys rely on their partners to get tested. It is important for each individual to get tested.
  • DO NOT ASSUME that just because a doctor took blood from you that it is being sent for HIV! Ask the doctor exactly what tests he/she is ordering.

Is it curable?

  • It is treatable, not curable. There are medications that help keep the level of HIV low in the body.

Remember, the YMC can refer you to some excellent programs that help you stay healthy.