What are HIV and STDs?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). STDs are Sexually Transmitted Diseases, which include HIV and other infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, and HPV.
How are HIV and other STDs passed?
The most common method of infection for HIV and other STDs is through sexual contact (vaginal, anal, or oral sex). Many infections can also be passed through sharing needles, contact with infected blood, or from mother to baby during pregnancy or at birth. HIV and other STDs are not passed casually by such activities as hugging or shaking hands. Each infection is different. See the fact sheets below for more information on each type of STD.
What are the symptoms of HIV?
Many people with HIV do not have symptoms for several years after becoming infected. Some people may develop mild, temporary flu-like symptoms or swollen glands right after becoming infected. When someone has been infected with HIV for some time, they can exhibit symptoms of AIDS which are usually more serious. However, the only way to know for sure if you are infected is to get tested.
What are the symptoms of other STDs?
Many people do not have any symptoms. Those that do can have pain when urinating, a discharge, or blisters in the genital region. Each STD causes different symptoms, see the fact sheets below for more information. The only way to know for sure if you are infected is to see a medical professional.
Where can I get tested?
In Texas, most counties have a location for getting tested for HIV and other STDs. Learn more about where to get tested.
Can I talk to a live person about my concerns or questions about HIV and other STDs?
To find out where to get tested or receive services for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in Texas, dial 2-1-1. For all other questions about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, dial 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).
How do I order HIV/STD educational materials from the Department of State Health Services?
Educational materials are available electronically and/or as hard copies from the DSHS Warehouse. You can also view and download most brochures and fact sheets from the educational materials page.
Where can I find out more information about HIV and other STDs?
The fact sheets below contain basic information on symptoms, transmission, and treatment for HIV and other STDs. The links section of this website includes several hundred links to sites from around the world with more information about HIV and other STDs.
HIV/STD-Related Fact Sheets
Tuberculosis (TB) is not sexually transmitted, but it is more dangerous for those with HIV:
Information about HIV transmission and testing:
- Should I Get an HIV Test? (PDF : 38 kb) and ¿Debo Hacerme Una Prueba de Detección del VIH? (PDF : 42 kb) - This fact sheet was designed to comply with Texas Family Code, Chapter 2, Section 2.010, "AIDS Information," [Texas Legislature] which requires county clerks to provide HIV/AIDS information to marriage license applicants.
- HIV/AIDS and the Workplace (PDF : 39 kb) and El VIH, el SIDA, y el lugar de trabajo (PDF : 41 kb) - This fact sheet was developed to comply with Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 85, Section 85.111, “Education of State Employees,” [Texas Legislature] which requires Texas state agencies to annually provide HIV/AIDS information to each state employee.
- HIV Prevention Among Injection Drug Users [CDC]
- Information about your HIV Antibody Test (PDF : 33 kb) and Información de Exámenes Contra Los Anticueropos del VIH (PDF : 34 kb)
- Information for Persons with Negative HIV Antibody Tests (PDF : 33 kb) and Resultados Negativos a la Prueba del HIV (PDF : 35 kb)
- Positive HIV Antibody Test (PDF : 38 kb) and Prueba positiva de anticuerpos del VIH (PDF : 39 kb)
- Oral sex and HIV (PDF : 40 kb)
- Serologic Testing and Pregnancy in Texas
- Spousal Notification (PDF : 40 kb)
- Update on Seroconversion for HIV Infection (PDF : 38 kb)
Information about STD transmission and testing:
Fact sheet on the best ways to communicate with your kids about sex:
People with suppressed immune systems (like those with HIV) are at risk if they eat raw oysters:
Information for health professionals about STD testing and treatment:
Information for people with HIV transitioning from prison:
Are there other HIV/STD materials available?
Yes. Materials are produced by the federal government, other states, local communities, community based organizations, clinics, doctor's offices, hospitals, schools, and service organizations every year. DSHS has a Program Materials Review Panel (PMRP) that reviews many new publications, videos, and other educational materials every year for use in DSHS HIV/STD prevention activities. Visit the PMRP page to view the list of materials reviewed since 1999.
What other resources are available from the HIV/STD Program?
DSHS created media campaigns (radio spots billboards, bus ads, palm cards, brochures).
World Hepatitis Day
World Hepatitis Day is May 19. As part of this event in 2009, DSHS hosted a program to increase hepatitis awareness. The program presentations and more information can be found on the World Hepatitis Day page.
National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) is October 15. View NLAAD materials.
The Department of State Health Services produces a Clinical Toolkit to assist clinicians working with clients with HIV with easy access to treament and prevention information. Learn more about the Clinical Toolkits.
HOPWA Lead Pamphlet
Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home (PDF) [EPA] and Proteja a Su Familia en Contra del Plomo en Su Casa (PDF) [EPA]
I still have questions.
You can contact the HIV/STD Program via or call us at (512) 533-3000.