HIV:  More Than 1.1 Million People Are Living With HIV In The USA

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that weakens the immune system and makes it difficult for your body to fight off infections. According to the CDC, about 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV.   It's estimated that approximately 250,000 people are living with undiagnosed HIV; they do not know they have the virus.  Although HIV causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), people who test positive for HIV do not automatically have AIDS.

As scary as it sounds, it's entirely possible to have HIV for many years without developing or showing any signs of the disease. The only way to know is to get tested. And, with medication, people can be HIV positive and maintain a good quality of life for a very long time.

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How Do I Get HIV?

HIV is transmitted by having unprotected oral, vaginal, and/or anal sex with someone who is HIV positive. It can also be spread by sharing needles with an infected person. The only way to be 100% safe is to not have sex or to be in a completely monogamous relationship with someone who has been tested and does not have HIV. If you are sexually active, using condoms each and every time you have sex of any kind (including oral) can greatly lower your chances of getting infected with HIV or other STDs.

What Are The Symptoms Of HIV?

People with HIV might not develop or exhibit any of the disease's symptoms. You can be infected with the virus for years and not see or notice anything that's different with your body. When symptoms do appear, some people feel like they have the flu or get a skin rash. When people get serious problems like pneumonia or begin to lose weight quickly, it could be a sign of advanced HIV. The important thing to know is this:  if you are even slightly worried you may have been exposed to HIV, take the HIV Antibody and HIV DNA tests with It's the only way to be sure.