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What is it?

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. You can get HIV from contact with infected blood, semen, breast milk, or vaginal fluids.

Pregnant women can also pass HIV onto their babies.

Although rare, you can get HIV by having oral sex, but the risk is less than from having anal or vaginal sex.

It is also possible to get HIV thru “open mouth kissing” if the infected person has bleeding sores in their mouth, but it is very rare.

It is not possible to get HIV from tears or saliva.

What are the symptoms?

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Dry cough
  • Fever or night sweats
  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Blemishes on the skin
  • Memory Loss
  • Depression
What are the effects?

The most dangerous effect of HIV is that it could develop into AIDS, which makes it tough for the body to fight off infections and diseases.

Having HIV also makes you more at risk of becoming infected with an STD. And having an STD makes the risk of getting HIV higher, if you’re exposed.

Is there a cure for HIV?

No, but there is treatment called antiretroviral therapy. If you’re infected with HIV, get regular check-ups and take your medicine. It’s possible to live your entire life without developing AIDS.

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Idaho Department of Health and Welfare