HIV: The Basics

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. No effective cure exists for HIV. But with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. Some groups of people in the United States are more likely to get HIV than others because of many factors, including their sex partners, their risk behaviors, and where they live. This section will give you basic information about HIV, such as how it’s transmitted, how you can prevent it, and how to get tested for HIV.

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How Can We Serve You?


At least half of Americans living with HIV experience homelessness or housing instability following diagnosis. Safe, stable housing provides the essential foundation for successful management of HIV and other chronic diseases.

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HIV Testing

Nearly 1 in 7 Americans (14.2%) with HIV are unaware of their diagnosis, and far too many persons living with HIV are diagnosed far too late in the course of their infection to fully benefit from available life extending treatment.

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Fighting Stigma

There is a cyclical relationship between stigma and HIV; people who experience stigma and discrimination are marginalised and made more vulnerable to HIV, while those living with HIV are more vulnerable to experiencing stigma and discrimination.

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Make a difference

HIV-related stigma and discrimination still persist in the United States and negatively affect the health and well-being of people living with HIV. You can play an important role in reducing stigma and discrimination by offering your support to people living with HIV and speaking out to correct myths and stereotypes that you hear from others in your community.

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