How is HIV spread?

SEX: The virus can be spread when a person who has the virus has unprotected sex (vaginal, oral, or anal sex) with another person.

Remember: Do not have unprotected sex, always use a condom.

PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING: A mother who is HIV positive can pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy, while giving birth or when breastfeeding.

Remember: By following a PMTCT (prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV) programme, an HIV positive mother can give birth to an HIV negative baby. She can also keep her baby HIV negative by breastfeeding and being on ART, with the support of the clinic.

BLOOD: The virus can pass from the blood of one infected person to another person. This can happen when people share razor blades, toothbrushes, needles and syringes or through touching an open wound. Health workers should wear gloves and protective eye wear when handling body fluids or giving injections.

Remember: Do not touch body fluids or blood without protecting your hands (gloves, plastic bag). Do not share needles, razor blades or toothbrushes.

What is AIDS?

If the immune system of an HIV positive person weakens, their body can get infections like pneumonia, diarrhea, meningitis or very bad thrush. This is called AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).