What is HIV and AIDS?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

You can get HIV through contact with infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids, sharing needles and from mother to baby. You can also get it with a blood transfusion in countries that do not pre-test blood for transfusion (New Zealand does pre-test for transfusions).

What are the symptoms of HIV and AIDS?

Often there are no obvious symptoms for years, but symptoms can include early flu-like illness and frequent attacks of thrush and other infections.

How serious is HIV and AIDS?

HIV is a serious disease which weakens the immune system and the body's ability to fight life-threatening infections and cancer. There is no cure for HIV but there are treatments that can control the virus and people with HIV now live much longer.

How do I get tested for HIV and AIDS?

HIV and AIDS are confirmed by a blood test. You can book a free and confidential test through the New Zealand AIDS Foundation or another sexual health clinic. Find a local clinic now.

What is the treatment for HIV and AIDS?

HIV can be controlled by antiretroviral medication. Treatments are available for secondary infections and some cancers. There is no cure or immunisation available.

Other important information about HIV and AIDS?

You should practise safer sex with your partner to prevent transmission. Do not share needles with anyone. Partners should have an HIV test.

For more information please visit the New Zealand AIDS Foundation