HIV & AIDS

Everyone has questions and concerns, whether you want to say it or not
Or
Thinking about it in the back of your mind

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The facts:
• HIV is believed to have crossed over from chimpanzees to humans in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1920. In 1981 in Los Angeles, a rare lung infection called Pneumocystis, carinii pneumonia (PCP) was diagnosed in five young, previously healthy gay men. Around this time there were also reports of groups of men in New York and California being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer called Kaposi's sarcoma. Finally in September of 1982, the CDC first used the term acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), when describing the mystery disease. The first AIDS clinic was opened in San Francisco that same year. In 1984, Dr. Robert Gallo and his colleagues at the National Cancer Institute found the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as distinct from AIDS. In 1989, there were over 100,000 AIDS cases reported in America, and by 1994, AIDS had become the leading cause of death among Americans 25-44 years old. In 2014, the UNAIDS launched their 90-90-90 targets, aiming for 90% of people living with HIV to be diagnosed, 90% to be accessing antiretroviral treatment, and 90% to achieve viral suppression by 2020. (hivlife.org)
• HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS if not treated. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can't get rid of HIV completely, even with treatment.
• While the health and prevention benefits of ART are clear, only 54.7 percent of people living in the United States with diagnosed HIV infection are virally suppressed. Among those who do not have the virus in check, many have been diagnosed, but are no longer in care for a variety of reasons, including the cost of medical care and HIV drugs, stigma, shame, perceived or real concerns about taking HIV medications, lack of stable housing, and transportation. When people with HIV do not receive the treatment and care they need, the disease worsens and eventually progresses to AIDS. Today, nearly 13,000 people with AIDS in the United States die each year. People with HIV who have not achieved viral suppression also remain at risk of transmitting the virus to others. CDC has found that more than 90 percent of new HIV infections could be averted by diagnosing people living with HIV and ensuring they receive prompt, ongoing care and treatment. 

People with questions related to HIV and STDs are encouraged to call the Michigan HIV/STD hotline available weekdays 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at 1-800-872-2437.hiv3

Treatments and Options

Unlike some other viruses, the human body can't get rid of HIV completely, even with treatment. But there are options out there to help prevent and treatments to help manage symptoms.

Options to Prevent

PrEP: Are you HIV-negative but at very high risk for HIV with high risk behaviors? Taken every day, PrEP can help keep you free from HIV.

CDC Face Sheet on PrEP

The only 100% sure way to prevent getting HIV/AIDS is by abstaining from sexual intercourse and from sharing needles.hiv2


Using a condom consistently and correctly  can help protect you from HIV/AIDS. Also avoiding contact with blood and using clean sterile needles for drug injections will decrease your chances of getting HIV/AIDS exposure.

Treatments Available

HIV is a virus that can multiply quickly and damage the body's immune system, making it hard to fight off infections and cancers. While no cure exists for HIV infection, effective treatment is available. Today, there are more than 30 antiretroviral drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat HIV infection. When used consistently, antiretroviral therapy (ART) can reduce the amount of virus in the blood and body fluids to very low or undetectable levels (known as viral suppression). As a result, people living with HIV who start ART early, remain on treatment, and achieve and maintain viral suppression can stay healthy and live a near-normal lifespan. Treatment also confers enormous prevention benefits—in research studies conducted to date, no case of HIV transmission has been linked to someone who had a suppressed viral load. U.S. clinical guidelines recommend that all people who are diagnosed with HIV receive treatment; regardless of how long they have had the virus or how healthy
they are. (HIV.org)

If you may have been exposed to HIV* in the last 72 hours, talk to your health care provider, an emergency room doctor, or your local health department about PEP right away. PEP can reduce your chance of becoming HIV-positive.

CDC Fact Sheet on PeP