Community Supervision and Corrections Department

Serving the Courts and Communities of Caldwell, Comal and Hays Counties

HIV/AIDS Fact Sheet

 

HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus

AIDS: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

Key Points:

∑ HIV is the virus that causes HIV infection. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection.

∑ HIV is spread through contact with the blood semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, or breast milk of a person infected with HIV. In the United States HIV is spread mainly by having anal or vaginal sex or sharing drug injection equipment with a person infected with HIV.

∑ The use of HIV medicines to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART involves taking a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV regimen) every day.

∑ ART canít cure HIV infection, but it can help people infected with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines can also reduce the risk of transmission of HIV.

 

What are the symptoms of HIV/AIDS?

Soon after infection with HIV, many people have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, or rash. The symptoms may come and go for a month or two after infection.

After this earliest stage of HIV infection, HIV continues to multiply but at very low levels. More severe symptoms of HIV infection, such as chronic diarrhea, rapid weight loss, and other signs of opportunistic infections, generally donít appear for many years (Opportunistic infections are infectious and infection-related cancers that occur more frequently or are more severe in people with weakened immune systems than in people with healthy immune systems.)

Without treatment, HIV can advance to AIDS. The time it takes for HIV to advance to AIDS varies, but it can take 10 years or more.

HIV transmission is possible at any stage of HIV infection Ė even if an HIV-infected person has no symptoms of HIV.

Source: National Institute of Health: http://aidsinfo.nih.gov

Additional Resources:

∑ Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): National HIV and STD Testing Resource: http://hivtest.cdc.gov/Default.aspx?s_cid=hivtesting_partners7

∑ 512-376-1076: Caldwell County Health Department

∑ 830-221-1150: Comal County Health Department

∑ 512-393-5525: Hays County Health Department

 

Courthouse photos by Larry D. Moore, used under a Creative Commons license