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Important Numbers

National HIV/AIDS Hotline:
(800) CDC-INFO (800) 232-4636

National HIV/AIDS Hotline TTY:
(888) 232-6348

National HIV/AIDS Email:
cdcinfo@cdc.gov

Hepatitis C Association Support Line:
877-HELP-4-HEP (877-435-7443)

Learn More About HIV

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Read below for more information about HIV. For information about Hepatitis, click here. For information about other STIs, click here.

  • People who have HIV in their bodies have HIV infection or HIV
  • You may not know you have it
  • HIV is a disease with many stages
  • There may be no symptoms
    • There may be a few symptoms
    • There may be many serious symptoms
  • You may have HIV for many years without feeling or looking sick
    • You may not know you have HIV
    • You can still pass the virus on to others

What HIV Does to Your Body:

  • Over time, HIV damages the body’s immune system
  • The immune system protects the body from disease
  • When the immune system gets very weak other diseases and infections can enter the body

This stage of HIV is called AIDS

  • HIV lives in semen, vaginal fluids, blood and breast milk of a person with HIV
  • It can be passed from person to person through these infected fluids
    • During vaginal, oral or anal sex
    • Sharing needles and equipment to inject drugs
    • Needles used for tattoos and piercing or to inject vitamins or steroids
    • From a mother to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
    • From needle-stick injuries to health workers caring for people with HIV

HIV Is Not Passed By

  • Donating blood
  • Hugging, dry kissing, or sharing food
  • Telephones, toilet seats, towels, or eating utensils
  • Tears, saliva, sweat, or urine
  • Mosquitoes or other insects

How to be Protected

  • Use a new latex condom and water-based lubricant every time for vaginal or anal sex
  • Don’t use oil-based lubricants. Hand creams, massage oils, Vaseline, etc., can cause condom breakage.
  • For oral sex on a man, use a new latex condom every time.
  • For oral sex on a woman or oral/anal sex on a man or woman, use a barrier such as a dental dam, a latex condom cut and rolled out flat, or plastic food wrap. Use a new barrier each time.
  • People who are allergic to latex can use plastic (polyurethane) condoms. These come in both male and female styles.
  • Don’t have sex when you’re drunk or high. Using alcohol or other drugs affects judgment and can lead to unsafe sex.

Test Results
If you test positive:

  • A confirmed positive test means you have HIV. Positive results are almost 100% accurate.
  • If you test HIV positive, find a health care provider who knows about HIV right away. Early treatment can help you stay healthy longer.
  • Services for people with HIV include help with health care, income, food and legal services.

If you test negative:

  • A negative test means no HIV antibodies were in your body at the time of the test.
  • This MAY mean you don’t have HIV.
  • A negative test might also mean you have HIV, but your body hasn’t made HIV antibodies yet.
  • Get tested again at least 3 months after any risky behavior.

Who will know your results

Most test centers offer confidential testing.

  • Your rest result is told only to you but it is also put into your medical file. Ask who has access to this file.

Some test centers offer anonymous testing.

  • You are the only one who sees your test result. You use a code name or number to get your result.

Home testing is anonymous.

  • HIV antibody home testing kits can be purchased at a pharmacy.
    • You mail a blood sample for testing along with a code name or number
    • Results are given by phone when you call and give your code.

Prevention Education

WNCAP offers innovative age appropriate education programs and HIV/AIDS education materials for schools, worksites & community groups