AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), which attacks the body’s immune system, destroying a person’s defenses against infection.
There is no cure for AIDS. Be sure to protect yourself from HIV by practicing safer sex methods. Use a condom every time you have sex.
How do you get HIV?
HIV is transmitted through contact with infected body fluids such as vaginal secretions, semen, pre-semen, breast milk, and blood.
It can be transmitted through anal, vaginal or oral sex. However, oral sex is considered a very low-risk activity for spreading HIV, and the risk of spreading it through vaginal or anal sex is much higher.
HIV can also be transmitted through shared needles, transmitted from an infected mother to a baby during birth, or to a baby through infected breast milk.
You can also become HIV-positive if infected blood gets inside your body. In Canada, this generally only applies to sharing needles for illegal drug use. There is also a potential risk in using unsterilized needles for tattooing, acupuncture or body piercings.
HIV is more easily transmitted if the partner has another sexually transmitted disease, such as herpes, chlamydia or gonorrhea. For this reason, get tested and treated for other STIs
HIV testing involves a blood test which is sent to a lab. Generally, there is a three month "window" period for HIV testing. This is the approximate time between when a person is infected with HIV and the time when an HIV test will detect the virus in his or her body. For many people, testing may be accurate after several weeks of infection, but in rare cases it takes up to six months.
If you are considering being tested for HIV, you should know that the test may not detect an infection from the past three months. Three months after infection, the test will confirm 97% of HIV cases and after 6 months, the test will confirm 99% of all cases.
HIV testing is available at:
-WLU Health Services by booking an appointment with a doctor 519-884-0710 ext 3146. A follow-up appointment will be arranged to review test results. Results will not be given by telephone.
Anonymous HIV testing drop-in clinics
-Waterloo Public Health, 99 Regina St S 2nd floor, first come-first served 519-883-2251 Wednesdays 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.
-ACCKWA Kitchener 105-67 King Street East, Kitchener No appointment necessary Thursdays 4:00-7:00 pm. http://http://www.acckwa.com/
For more information go to http://www.sexualityandu.ca/stis-stds/what_are_stis-stds/viral-stis-stds