HIV Facts

People with HIV should start HIV medicine right away. Even if you're feeling great and have no symptoms, HIV is hurting your immune system. To protect your immune system, most experts recommend starting HIV medicines (called antiretroviral therapy or ART) as soon as you are diagnosed with HIV. Because these drugs reduce your "viral load," or the amount of HIV in your blood, they also reduce your chances of passing HIV to others. There are many programs and services available to assist in meeting your individual needs.

Even after exposure, HIV infection can be prevented. If you're exposed to HIV, you may be able to prevent contracting the virus yourself by taking a cocktail of antiretroviral medications (ART) for 28 days. The treatment isn't 100% effective, but it can be close if it's started within 72 hours of exposure. You can get this treatment from your doctor, at the emergency room, and from HIV and urgent-care clinics.

The Affordable Care Act covers HIV patients. Many people who are HIV-positive are now eligible for care through the new insurance marketplace. Others, namely those who have low incomes, may be able to receive care under Medicaid expansion.

Several laws protect people living with HIV from employment discrimination.

Stable housing is related to good HIV health outcomes.

As a result of recent advances in access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV-positive people now live longer and healthier lives.

The symptom of HIV/AIDS are very often missed. HIV is not the end of your life, it is a manageable condition.

It takes almost 10 years for the onset of AIDS.

A person may be HIV positive but might not necessarily have AIDS.

HIV/AIDS remains one of the world’s most significant public health challenges, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

Every 9.5 minutes, someone becomes infected with HIV in the US.