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    DSHS HIV/STD Program

    Post Office Box 149347, MC 1873
    Austin, Texas 78714

    Phone: (512) 533-3000

    DSHS strives to respond to all email requests in a timely manner. It is important to note, however, that messages that you send to us by email may not be secure and may be intercepted by a third party. Therefore, we recommend that you do not send any confidential health information to us by email.

HIV-AIDS

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Get the facts about HIV & AIDS:

  • HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, a disease that destroys the body’s ability to fight off infections.
  • There is no cure for HIV or AIDS.
  • AIDS can be fatal.
  • People become infected with HIV because of what they do, not who they are.
  • There are only a few ways you can become infected with HIV.
  • You can protect yourself from becoming infected with HIV.
  • An HIV test can show if you have been infected. The test is confidential.
  • If you are infected with HIV, there are things you can do to stay healthy.

What are HIV and AIDS?

HIV (or Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). HIV damages the immune system, the part of the body that fights infection. Eventually, the immune system becomes so weak that diseases and infections begin to attack the body. As these conditions worsen, a person is diagnosed with AIDS.

How can you tell if someone is infected with HIV?

You cannot tell if someone has HIV or AIDS by looking at them. A person infected with HIV may look healthy and feel fine, but they can still pass the virus to you. An HIV antibody test is the way a person can find out if he or she is infected with HIV.

Anyone can become infected with HIV. It has nothing to do with race, age, religion, nationality or sexual orientation. People get infected with HIV because of what they do, not who they are.

How do you get infected with HIV?

faces_hivHIV is spread through blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk. Contact with these body fluids puts you at risk for HIV infection.

  • Having sex (anal, vaginal or oral), with someone who is infected with HIV.
  • Sharing needles or syringes with someone who is infected. This includes sharing needles to shoot drugs or vitamins, to pierce body parts, or for tattoos.
  • A woman with HIV can pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy or birth.
  • A few babies have been infected by breastfeeding from their infected mother.
  • Although all donated blood has been screened for HIV since 1985, some people got the virus by receiving HIV-infected blood products between 1978 and 1985. You cannot get HIV by giving blood.

How you WON'T get infected.

You cannot get HIV through the air or from casual contact. HIV is not spread by:

  • Living, working or going to school with someone with HIV infection
  • Shaking hands, hugging, or kissing
  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Sharing food, plates, cups or forks
  • Toilets, tubs, or swimming pools
  • Mosquitoes or other insects

How can you avoid HIV infection?

  • Don't have sex. This is the only sure way to avoid getting HIV through sex.
  • Don't share needles and syringes to shoot drugs or for anything else.
  • Use a latex condom every time you have sex unless you are sure your partner is not infected. When used the right way, condoms greatly reduce the chance you will get HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Stay with one partner who has sex only with you. Use condoms unless you are sure your partner is not infected with HIV.

Should you get an HIV test?

You should think about getting tested for HIV if you have:

  • Had sex without a condom (anal, vaginal or oral) with someone whose HIV status you do not know – even if that person is your boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse
  • Shared needles, syringes or works
  • Had multiple sex partners, male or female (the more partners you have, the greater your risk)
  • Been diagnosed with – or treated for – hepatitis, tuberculosis or any sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  • Exchanged sex for money, drugs or other goods
  • Received blood products between 1978 and 1985
  • Had sex – even once – with anyone who has done any of these things

Why should you take the test?

If you are infected with HIV, there are things you can do to stay healthy longer. Research shows that early treatment can help delay the onset of AIDS. You can also take steps to avoid infecting other people with HIV. If you are pregnant and infected with HIV, there are medicines you can take to reduce your baby’s risk of getting HIV.

For a listing of HIV testing sites in Texas, go here.

 

HIV/AIDS Resources

Where to get tested for HIV

Find services for HIV-positive

"HIV/AIDS: Are You at Risk?" [CDC]
HIV/AIDS information from the CDC.

The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States [KFF]
Fact sheet from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

A Guide to Primary Care for People With HIV/AIDS, 2004 Edition [HRSA]
Primary care guidelines for those infected with HIV from the HIV/AIDS Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

2010 STD Treatment Guidelines [CDC]
Includes HIV detection, counseling, and referral suggestions.

Texas HIV Medication Program
The Texas HIV Medication Program (THMP) is the official AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) for the State of Texas which provides medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of illnesses caused by HIV and other opportunistic infections in HIV-infected individuals as prescribed by their doctor.

Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA)
The State of Texas HOPWA formula program provides housing assistance and supportive services for income-eligible individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their families to establish or better maintain a stable living environment in housing that is decent, safe, and sanitary, to reduce the risk of homelessness, and to improve access to health care and supportive services.

Texas HIV Surveillance Report (PDF : 446 kb)
This report includes HIV/AIDS rates and demographic data for Texas.

Training
A variety of courses are available for professionals involved in HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention in Texas.

HIV/AIDS Resources
     
4-141
Facts you should know about HIV and AIDS
(PDF : 2,120 kb)
(DSHS Brochure 4-141)
4-141a
Hechos que debe saber El VIH y El SIDA
(PDF : 1,495 kb)
(DSHS Brochure 4-141a)
E13-11898
Facts you should know about HIV and AIDS
(PDF : 46 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E13-11898)
E13-11898a
El VIH y El SIDA: Hechos Que Debe Saber
(PDF : 49 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E13-11898a)
 
4-206
10 Questions About Pregnancy and HIV
(PDF : 2,338 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E4-206)
4-206a
10 Preguntas Sobre el Embarazo y el VIH
(Spanish)
(PDF : 213 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E4-206a)
 
E4-151
Information about your HIV Antibody Test
(PDF : 33 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E4-151)
E4-151a
Información de Exámenes contra los Anticuerpos del VIH
(PDF : 34 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E4-151a)
E4-152
Negative HIV Antibody Test
(PDF : 33kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E4-152)

E4-152a
Resultados Negativos a la Prueba del VIH
(PDF : 35 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E4-152a)

 
E4-148
HIV, AIDS and the Workplace
(PDF : 39 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E4-148)
E4-148a
El VIH, el SIDA, y el lugar de trabajo
(PDF : 41 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E4-148a)
E4-158 front page
Should I Get An HIV Test?
(PDF : 38 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E4-158)
E4-158a front page
¿Debo Hacerme Una Prueba de Detección del VIH?
(PDF : 42 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E4-158a)
 

AA Women and HIV
African American Women and HIV in Texas
(PDF : 155 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E13-13359)

Hispanics in Texas
Hispanics in Texas: Late HIV Diagnosis and Out of Care
(PDF : 121 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E13-13279)

HIVinBlacks
HIV/AIDS among Blacks in Texas
(PDF : 151 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E13-13350)

HIV and Texas Law
HIV and Texas Law
(PDF : 95 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E13-13312)

 
HIV/AIDS in Texas
An Overview of HIV in Texas
(PDF : 210 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E13-12986) 
Routine HIV Testing
Routine HIV Testing in Health Care Settings
(PDF : 123 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E13-13456)
 
E13-11908 front page
The risk of eating raw oysters
(PDF : 48 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E13-11908)
E13-11908a front page
El riesgo de comer ostiones crudos
(PDF : 51 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E13-11908a)
E13-11907 front page
Oral sex and HIV
(PDF : 39 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E13-11907)

E13-11912 front page
Spousal Notification
(PDF : 127 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E13-11912)

       

E13-11918 front page
Update on Seroconversion for HIV Infection
(PDF : 38 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E13-11918)

     
HIV/AIDS Materials

HIV/AIDS
Last updated December 17, 2014