There are numerous sites that focus on providing information on HIV. We provide an overview below but we encourage you to check out the links at the bottom of this section to learn more from the sites that focus on HIV.
What Is It?
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and breaks down the body's immune system, which provides protection against illnesses. A person living with HIV may feel healthy but the virus is causing inflammation and other damage to the immune system. The result is that a person with HIV is vulnerable to getting very sick without treatment.
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the name for the condition that people with HIV have if they develop one of the serious infections connected with HIV, or if blood tests show that their immune system has been very badly damaged by the virus. It usually takes many years after a person becomes infected with HIV before it breaks down a person's immune system and causes AIDS.
How You Could Get It
HIV is most commonly transmitted between men when infected body fluids (cum/precum, blood ) pass into the bloodstream through:
Unprotected anal sex
Oral Sex (This mode is extremely unlikely but possible.)
PrEP (see separate tab)
Use latex or polyurethane condoms when fucking
Always use clean needles; don’t share your works
Do not have penetrative sex
PEP (see separate tab)
Sero-sorting (This harm reduction strategy means HIV negative men choosing to only having sex with men they know are HIV negative. There is risk in this strategy because your sex partners may not know for sure whether they have HIV. )
Some people experience flu-like symptoms when they first become infected infected with HIV. These symptoms include: fever, chills, fatigue, sore throat, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and night sweats. Symptoms ususally resolve on their own in a few weeks. The severity of these symptoms may vary.
Some people do not experience any symptoms.
Once someone develops AIDS, they may experience many different symptoms, some life threatening.
Rapid HIV antibody tests which use either a cheek swab or a drop of blood may be done at least four to six weeks after a possible exposure. Results of these tests are given within 20-30 minutes.
If this type of test shows a positive result, a a more thorough test using a blood draw is done to confirm the result.
If someone has been exposed to HIV within the last three weeks, a doctor may do another type of blood test which determines if a person has HIV virus in his bloodstream. This is called a viral load test.
If you are not on PrEP and think you may have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours, considering call your doctor or visiting an emergency room to get on PEP. PEP is more effective if it is started as soon as possible.
Click here for more information.
Medications are prescribed to suppress the virus in an HIV positive person in an attempt to get the amount of HIV to “undetectable." This means the amount of HIV in the blood is so low that it cannot be seen in lab tests even though a person is still HIV positive. The term “Treatment as Prevention” (TasP) refers to HIV prevention methods that use antiviral medication to lower the viral load of someone with HIV to an undetectable level so he is extremely unlikely to pass along HIV to a sexual partner-even if he is topping an HIV negative bottom without using a condom. It is important to understand that not everyone who is on HIV medicine is undetectable.
When You Can Have Sex Again (If you have tested HIV positive)
Until you start treatment and find out you are undetectable through a lab viral load test, use condoms to protect any HIV negative partners against possible HIV transmission.
For more information: