Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are caused by infections that are passed from one person to another during sexual contact. There are many kinds of sexually transmitted diseases and infections. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV causes AIDS. It breaks down the immune system that is our body's protection against disease.

HIV causes people to become sick with infections that normally wouldn't affect them. In the United States alone, more than 980,000 cases of AIDS have been reported to the government. About 40,000 women and men in the United States get HIV each year.

Symptoms of HIV:

    Some people develop HIV symptoms shortly after being infected. But it usually takes more than 10 years. There are several stages:

  • Swollen lymph glands in the throat, armpit or groin
  • Slight fever accompanied by headaches, fatigue and muscle aches
  • Then no symptoms at all. That is why it is hard to tell if you have HIV.

Symptoms of AIDS:

    AIDS appears in the advanced stages of HIV disease and badly damages the immune system.

  • Thrush – a thick, whitish coating on the tongue or mouth caused by yeast infection and accompanied by a soar throat
  • severe or recurring vaginal yeast infections
  • chronic pelvic inflammatory disease 
  • severe and frequent infections
  • periods of extreme and unexplained tiredness that may be combined with headaches, lightheadedness, and/or dizziness
  • quick loss of more than 10 pounds of weight that is not due to increased physical exercise or dieting
  • bruising more easily than normal
  • long periods of frequent diarrhea
  • frequent fevers and/or night sweats
  • swelling or hardening of glands in the throat, armpit, or groin
  • periods of persistent, deep, dry coughing
  • increasing shortness of breath
  • the appearance of discolored or purplish growths on the skin or inside the mouth
  • unexplained bleeding from growths on the skin, from the mouth, nose, anus, or vagina, or from any opening in the body
  • frequent or unusual skin rashes
  • severe numbness or pain in the hands or feet, the loss of muscle control and reflex, paralysis, or loss of muscular strength
  • confusion, personality change, or decreased mental abilities

Currently there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. But there are treatments for people living with HIV/AIDS.

If you have HIV/AIDS, you can take combinations of medicines called "cocktails." The drug cocktails are designed to strengthen the immune system to keep HIV from developing into AIDS or to relieve AIDS symptoms.

How is HIV spread?

  • Transmitted in blood
  • Semen
  • Vaginal fluids
  • Breast Milk
  • Sexual intercourse without a condom with someone infected
  • Sharing needles or syringes with an infected person
  • Punctured deeply by an infected needle or surgical instrument
  • HIV secreted into an open wound or sore

Where to get more Info, Help or Get Tested: