In recognition of World AIDS Day on December 1, the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion encourages everyone to get tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In the United States, about 1 in 8 people who has HIV doesn’t know it. The only way to know for sure whether or not you have HIV is to get tested. You could have HIV and still feel healthy.
Everyone ages 15 to 65 needs to get tested at least once. Some people may need to get tested more often. To find an HIV testing location near you, text your ZIP code to KNOWIT (566948) or use this online locator (http://locator.aids.gov).
HIV is passed from one person to another by:
- Having unprotected sex with a person who has HIV
- Sharing needles with someone who has HIV
- Breastfeeding, pregnancy, or childbirth if the mother has HIV
- Getting a transfusion of blood that’s infected with HIV (very rare in the United States)