It only takes one unprotected episode!
What is HIV?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It attacks the body's immune system making it weak and less able to fight off disease and infection.
People with HIV are more at risk of developing a serious infection or disease, such as cancer.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the term used to describe the late stage of HIV, when the immune system stops working and leads to a life-threatening condition.
How could you become infected?
The HIV virus is present in the blood and other body fluids of an infected person and can be passed on:
- through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected person
- by sharing needles and syringes with an infected person
- from mother to baby at childbirth or via breastfeeding
Symptoms of HIV
Symptoms of primary HIV infection include:
- sore throat
- joint pain
- muscle pain
- swollen glands (nodes)
- a blotchy rash
If you’re concerned about HIV or AIDS or think you have put yourself at risk, get checked out at a sexual health clinic in Essex or speak to your GP.
All it requires is a blood test and your results will be kept private.
Treatment for HIV
HIV is a treatable condition, although there is no long term cure.
If you test positive you will be referred to an HIV clinic where you will be given access to medical expertise, treatment and care.
According to the Health Protection Agency in 2009, more than 90,000 people are living with HIV in the UK and over a quarter of people with HIV in the UK are undiagnosed.
To protect yourself from HIV & AIDS always wear a condom...
Click on the icons below to find more information and support for HIV/AIDS
National AIDS Trust Postively UK Terrence Higgins Trust