HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It weakens your immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight infections. HIV and AIDS are not the same thing—HIV is the virus that can cause AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Currently HIV is not curable, but daily medications and regular medical care can help you stay healthy and prevent spreading HIV. Some people are more likely to get HIV than others for many reasons, including their sex partners, their sexual practices, and their drug use practices.

HIV Facts Sheet
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PEP is medication that can prevent HIV infection after you are exposed. It should be started within 72 hours of a possible exposure to HIV so it is important to come to the clinic quickly if you think you could have been exposed. You’ll need to take PEP for 28 days.

PrEP is medication taken before a possible exposure to HIV. It is a highly effective way to reduce the risk of HIV infection through sex or sharing needles. PrEP needs to be taken on an ongoing basis if you have a continued risk of exposure to HIV.

Clean injection equipment prevents HIV being passed through intravenous drug use.

Condoms can prevent the spread of HIV if you use them consistently and correctly for anal and vaginal sex.

Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) means that there is no risk of HIV being passed during sex if the person living with HIV has been undetectable on HIV medications for at least six months. We don’t have enough data to know if being undetectable prevents HIV transmission from sharing injection equipment.

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