Find answers to some common questions in this section. How is HIV transmitted – and how is it not transmitted? Find out the answers in this section. Have an HIV test – it’s the only way to know for sure. HIV treatment is not a cure, but it is keeping millions of people well. Start learning about it in this section.
In this section we have answered some of the questions you might have if you have just found out you have HIV. Looking for support in your area? Your next stepsA booklet with information for people who’ve just found out they have HIV. An introduction to key issues about HIV treatment and living with HIV, presented as a series of illustrated leaflets. Our award-winning series of booklets, with each title providing a comprehensive overview of one aspect of living with HIV. A range of interactive tools to support people living with HIV to get involved in decisions about their treatment and care. Short factsheets, providing a summary of key topics.
Particularly useful when looking for information on a specific issue, rather than exploring a wider topic. People remember certain International AIDS Conferences as historic breakthroughs. HIV is found in body fluids. Condoms provide excellent protection against HIV transmission during sex. If you inject drugs, you can reduce the risk of HIV and other infections by not sharing needles or other injecting equipment.
With the right treatment and care during pregnancy and birth, and by not breastfeeding, it’s nearly always possible to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Effective HIV treatment, which reduces viral load, has been shown to reduce the risk of transmission. When someone is taking HIV treatment and has an undetectable viral load, the risk of sexual transmission of HIV is negligible. Nor can you get HIV by being in the same place as someone with HIV, or by sharing household items such as crockery, cutlery, or bed linen. HIV is not passed on by spitting, sneezing or coughing. What can I do that is safe?
HIV is not passed on by kissing, hugging, massage or mutual masturbation. Condoms provide excellent protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections when used properly for anal, vaginal or oral sex. The risk of HIV transmission from oral sex is much lower than for anal or vaginal sex. Some people choose to use condoms or dental dams for oral sex to reduce this risk even further.
I’m starting a relationship with someone who has HIV, what do I need to know? Many people who don’t have HIV are in successful, loving, and intimate relationships with a partner who has HIV. Modern HIV treatment and care can significantly improve your partner’s health and life expectancy. Many people with HIV can expect to have a near-normal lifespan. It may be reassuring to know that you can have a long-term relationship and a fulfilling sex life with your partner, and stay HIV negative. It’s completely safe to kiss and hug your partner.