HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus which attacks the body's immune system — the body's defence against diseases.
HIV can be passed on through infected bodily fluids, most commonly via sex without a condom or by sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment.
There are now more people than ever living with HIV in the UK — around 100,000 — with a quarter of those people are unaware they have the virus.
Here are a few more facts about HIV in the UK:
- Over 90% of people with HIV were infected through sexual contact
- You can now get tested for HIV using a saliva sample
- HIV is not passed on through spitting, biting or sharing utensils
- Only 1% of babies born to HIV positive mothers have HIV
- You can get the results of an HIV test in just 15-20 minutes
- There is no vaccine and no cure for HIV
Have any of these facts come as a surprise? There is still loads more you can learn about HIV in the UK by visiting HIVaware — our fun, interactive new website which provides all the information everyone should know about HIV. HIVaware gives you facts and stats on HIV, busts common myths and answers your frequently asked questions.
Take your first step to Acting Aware by visiting HIVaware today.