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What Is HIV?

Let's start with the basics: HIV is short for "human immunodeficiency virus." You can get HIV through condomless sex or by sharing needles or other equipment used to inject drugs.

Do I Have HIV?


What is HIV? HIV Transmission Safer Sex Guide HIV Testing Injection Drug Use HIV Symptoms

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What Are the Symptoms of HIV and AIDS?

Learn about the symptoms (or lack of them) of HIV infection, those of other viruses or anxiety, and those of advanced HIV (also known as AIDS). But remember, only an HIV test can tell you for sure if you have HIV.

By Roger Pebody

Basic Questions and Answers About HIV Transmission

Myths persist about how HIV is transmitted. This section provides the facts about HIV risk from different types of sex, injection drug use, and other activities.

Table of Contents

How Is HIV Passed From One Person to Another? How Well Does HIV Su...

By Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What Are the Chances of Getting HIV From Protected Sex?

The chance of HIV being passed on even though a condom was used is really quite tiny, even if it isn't totally impossible. It's probably unrealistic to expect any method of prevention to give 100% protection or to work perfectly every time.


How Long Does the HIV Virus Live on a Razor Blade?

Once exposed to air, any blood left behind on a razor blade dries out. This breaks down the environment that HIV may have been contained in. The traces of blood that might be left behind on a blade are small, accelerating the drying process.

It's al...

What Are the Symptoms of HIV After Three Months?

Most people who contract HIV have no symptoms at all three months after infection.

Some people do briefly experience some symptoms in the first few weeks after infection, but these are rarely present at the three-month stage. Indeed, for people who ...

Can You Get HIV Symptoms in the Two to Three Days After Exposure?

It takes longer than this for any symptoms of primary HIV infection to show up. Not everyone who acquires HIV has any symptoms or notices them, but when they do, it's usually at least one week after exposure and can be several weeks afterwards.


If You Swallow the Semen of an HIV-Positive Person Can You Be Infected?

The risk of acquiring HIV during oral sex (sucking the penis of an HIV-positive person) is pretty low, but it isn't zero. Taking your partner's ejaculate (cum or pre-cum) in your mouth appears to make transmission more likely. Almost all of the indiv...

Are Hives a Symptom of HIV?

Hives (also known as urticaria) is a skin reaction that causes itchy welts, which can range in size from small spots to large blotches several inches in diameter. Hives can be triggered by exposure to certain foods, medications or other substances.