| Login




HIV

AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) was first reported in the United States in 1981 and has since become a major worldwide epidemic. AIDS is caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). By killing or damaging cells of the body's immune system, HIV progressively destroys the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers. People diagnosed with AIDS may get life-threatening diseases called opportunistic infections, which are caused by microbes such as viruses or bacteria that usually do not make healthy people sick. There is no cure for HIV.

HIV is spread most commonly by having unprotected sex with an infected partner. The virus can enter the body through the lining of the vagina, vulva, penis, rectum or mouth during sex. HIV can also spread among injections drug users by sharing needles or syringes contaminated with infected blood. Most people will not have any symptoms when first infected with HIV. Some, however, may have a flu-like illness within a month or two after exposure to the virus. Symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness or enlarged lymph nodes.

Because no vaccine for HIV is available, the only way to prevent infection by the virus is to avoid behaviors that put you at risk of infection, such as sharing needles and having unprotected sex.

 

For more information:

CDC HIV/AIDS website:
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/

605 Bannock St., Room 162 . Denver, CO 80204 . Tel: 303-602-3540

Denver Health . Disclaimer . Privacy Policy