Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV can spread from person to person during anal, vaginal, or less commonly, during oral sex. HIV can also be spread while sharing needles or reusing equipment to inject drugs, tattoo or body pierce. HIV can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.

The following body fluids have been proven to spread HIV:

  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Vaginal fluid
  • Breast milk
  • Other body fluids containing blood

Over time, HIV attacks and weakens the immune system making infected persons vulnerable to a variety of infections and some cancers. This stage of HIV infection is called AIDS. However, there is no vaccine to prevent HIV infection nor is there a cure. There are treatments that can help persons live longer and healthier.

For more information on symptoms of HIV infection, transmission, treatment, prevention, and how many cases have occurred in Minnesota, see below:

Content Notice: This site contains HIV or STD prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Since HIV and other STDs are spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics. If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please exit this web site.

Updated Thursday, 05-Dec-2013 10:33:15 CST