What is HIV/AIDS?

Human Immunodeficiency virus is a disease that greatly inhibits or outright prevents the body’s immune system from working. Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome is a more advanced stage of the virus.

How can HIV be transmitted?
HIV Transmission can occur only if one of the following five bodily fluids come into contact with open cuts, sores, or a mucus membrane such as the eyes, nose, mouth, vagina, or anus:

  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Vaginal Fluid
  • Anal Fluid
  • Breast Milk

It is practically impossible to pass HIV through other means such as kissing or sharing eating utensils with an HIV+ person.

How can I lower the risk of infection?
Using barriers such as condoms or dental dams are your best bet. If you think you might have been exposed to HIV within the past 72 hours, you can ask your doctor for the Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) pill. If you are HIV-, you can take the Pre-Exposure Pill (PrEP). As always, consult a doctor about new medicines!
Where can I get tested?
Planned Parenthood and the Pride Center of Vermont offer HIV testing by appointment, and Vermont Cares offers walk-in tests. These are free and anonymous.

For more information, visit VTcares.org!

If you need help finding a testing center, visit this link.