The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), is a sexually transmitted disease that destroys specific blood cells in the body that are necessary to fight diseases, having a detrimental effect on the immune system. HIV is spread primarily through unprotected sex, sharing needles, and can be passed from a mother to a baby at birth.
Many people have no symptoms at all, and others come down with flu-like symptoms that may last for a couple weeks usually a few weeks after being infected.
The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should be tested for HIV at least once. Those are at increased risk for HIV should be tested at least once a year.
If you have HIV, there are medical treatments and support services that can help you stay healthy.
The CDC recommends the consistent use of latex condoms, testing and treatment of other STDs, and abstaining from injectable drug use.