What are the signs and symptoms?

Many people have no symptoms, but those who do can have:

  • Mild flu-like symptoms (fever and chills)

How is it spread?

HIV is spread by coming in contact with infected blood, semen, pre-ejaculate, vaginal secretions, and breast milk. It can be spread through:

  • Unprotected sex (vaginal, oral, or anal).
  • Shared needles or drug equipment used for injection or snorting drugs.
  • Reused tattoo ink or unsterilized needles or equipment used for tattooing, skin piercings, or acupuncture.
  • Pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding from an HIV-infected mother to her infant.
  • Needle stick and other exposures in health care settings.

How is it prevented?

HIV can be prevented by:

  • Abstaining from sexual activities.
  • Both you and your partner being tested at the beginning of your relationship.
  • Using condoms every time you have sex.
  • Never sharing any drug equipment.
  • Making sure all equipment is not contaminated (sterile needles and new ink for each person) and the shop is licensed and inspected by our Health Inspectors before you get a tattoo, body piercing, or acupuncture.
  • Talking with your doctor about being tested if you’re pregnant. Early treatment can prevent passing HIV from mother to baby before birth.

Where can I be tested?