CLINICS

FULTON COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH AT 10 PARK PLACE
ADDRESS:
     10 Park Place South S.E., 5th Floor
     Atlanta, GA 30303

PHONE:
     404-613-1401


ADAMSVILLE REIGIONAL HEALTH CENTER
ADDRESS:
     3700 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive S.W.
     Atlanta, GA 30331

PHONE:
     404-613-1430

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

ABOUT HIV/AIDS

WHAT IS HIV/AIDS


Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a collection of symptoms and infections resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The late stage of the condition leaves individuals susceptible to opportunistic infections and tumors. Although treatments for AIDS and HIV exist to slow the progression of the virus, there is currently no known cure. HIV is transmitted through direct contact with blood or body fluids that contain HIV such as semen, vaginal fluid, pre-seminal fluid or breast milk. Transmission can come through anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, an exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or other exposures to one of the above bodily fluids.

TRANSMISSION OF THE VIRUS


HIV is a fragile virus. It cannot live for very long outside the body. As a result, the virus is not transmitted through day-to-day activities such as shaking hands, hugging, or a casual kiss. You cannot get HIV from a toilet seat, drinking fountain, doorknob, dishes, drinking glasses, food, or pets. You also cannot get HIV from mosquitoes.

HIV is primarily found in the blood, semen, or vaginal fluid of a person with HIV. HIV is transmitted in 3 main ways:

  • Having sex (anal, vaginal, or oral) with someone who has HIV
  • Sharing needles and syringes with someone infected with HIV
  • Exposure of a fetus or infant to HIV before or during birth or through breastfeeding
HIV can also be transmitted through blood. However, since 1985, all donated blood in the United States has been tested for HIV. Therefore, the risk getting HIV through the transfusion of blood or blood products is extremely low. The U.S. blood supply is considered among the safest in the world.

SYMPTOMS


The only way to know whether you have HIV is to be tested. You cannot rely on symptoms alone because many people who have HIV do not have symptoms for many years. Someone can look and feel healthy but can still have the virus. In fact, one-quarter of the persons living with HIV in the United States do not know that they are positive.
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