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HIV & Aids: What Teens Need To Know

What do I need to know about HIV and AIDS?

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). AIDS is a very serious and deadly disease that can affect people of any age. While there is no cure for HIV, early diagnosis and treatment are very effective at keeping people healthy and delaying progression to AIDS. In addition, there are things you can do to prevent getting HIV. Read on to learn more about HIV and AIDS.


HIV is a virus that causes damage to the body's immune system. The immune system is the body's way of fighting infections. When the immune system does not work well, the body cannot fight off many serious illnesses.

The damage caused by HIV can occur over months, as sometimes happens when infants have HIV. In adults with HIV, the damage can occur more slowly. People with HIV are said to have AIDS when their immune systems are severely damaged or when certain other infections or cancers occur.

Because it can take years for symptoms to develop, many people do not know they have HIV. During this time, they can unknowingly spread the virus to others. Most people with HIV look and act healthy. You cannot tell just by looking at people whether they have HIV. A blood test is the only way to be sure.

How HIV Is Spread

HIV can be spread in the following ways:

How HIV Is Not Spread

It is very important to know how HIV is not spread. You cannot get HIV by

Also, you cannot get HIV from

How Not To Get HIV/AIDS: