HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It’s a virus that’s passed from person to person through the blood stream.

Once HIV is in the blood stream, it begins to attack a person’s immune system and works to kill off healthy immune system cells.

There’s currently no cure for HIV; once a person is diagnosed with the virus it stays in their system for life. There are, however, many quality medications available to help people who live with HIV to manage the virus, and live long, healthy lives. 

How does HIV work?

HIV belongs to a group of viruses called retroviruses which work by invading the genetic material of cells within your body. Normally, the body’s immune system would fight off such a virus, but HIV stops this from happening by infecting CD4 cells (T-cells), which are the cells that fight off infection. The virus can live in the body for years without causing obvious damage, though it will continue replicating over this time.

What happens if you are infected with HIV?

A person infected with HIV is described as "HIV positive", meaning that they receive a "positive" result from a blood test for HIV infection.

Many people with HIV continue to look and feel well throughout their lifetime. They may not even be aware that they are living with the virus. However, many HIV positive people do eventually develop different infections and cancers that the body would otherwise normally be able to fight. This can lead to an HIV positive person being diagnosed with AIDS.

 

  • Can I get HIV from someone living with HIV sneezing near me?
    That's right, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.
    Nope, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.
    no
  • Can I get HIV from sharing a drinking glass with someone living with HIV?
    That's right, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.
    Nope, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.
    no
  • Can I get HIV from hugging someone living with HIV?
    That's right, HIV is not transmitted via skin contact.
    Nope, HIV is not transmitted via skin contact.
    no
  • Can I get HIV from eating food prepared by someone living with HIV?
    Correct! No, HIV is not transmitted through saliva and, even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air would destroy the virus.
    No, HIV is not transmitted through saliva and, even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air would destroy the virus.
    no
  • Can I get HIV sharing a swimming pool with someone living with HIV?
    That's right, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.
    Nope, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.
    no

FACTS & MYTHS

FACTS & MYTHS

That's right, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.

FACTS & MYTHS

Can I get HIV from someone living with HIV sneezing near me?

FACTS & MYTHS

FACTS & MYTHS

Nope, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.

The NZAF network

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