What is HIV?

HIV is name blo a virus and the sickness em e cause.

H = human – people get it

I = immunodeficiency – it attacks youpla immune system

V = virus – e bug that meke youpla sick

How I ged e HIV?

You can’t sabe by looking at someone if all e gud HIV. People who gud em often feel healthy and well.

HIV lives in blood, sexual fluids and breastmilk. Youpla can ged e HIV if any of these get in to your bloodstream. The common ways to get HIV are from:

  • not using condoms during sex
  • sharing needles, syringes or spoons to inject drugs
  • unsterile body piercing and tattooing or ceremony
  • breastmilk
  • direct blood‐to‐blood contact e.g. blood transfusions and organ transplants in countries that do not test it for HIV.


Blood transfusions and organ transplants in Australia are

safe when all rules are followed.


Youpla can’t ged e HIV by:

  • hugging
  • coughing or sneezing
  • sharing kaikai or drink
  • eating kaikai made by someone with HIV
  • blood transfusions and other medical procedures in Australia
  • using the same toilet or shower as a person with HIV
  • insect or animal bites
  • daily contact with people with HIV
  • swimming pools or gyms

Wanem HIV do to the body?

HIV attacks youpla immune system. Youpla immune system fights off infections and protects you from getting sick. HIV mek e the immune system weak and it cannot protect youpla. If youpla nor gud HIV medicine, youpla can get very sick.

Are HIV and AIDS the same thing?


HIV is a virus that kills immune cells in the body. AIDS is not a virus.

AIDS is the rare diseases or illnesses that attack the body when youpla immune system is very weak. This only happens after HIV kills most of youpla immune cells. This can take many years.

AIDS is rare in Australia because medicines can prevent it. Having HIV does not mean youpla will die from AIDS in Australia.

How I sabe if I gud HIV?

The only way to sabe if youpla gud HIV is to have blood test.

  • if the test is ‘negative’, youpla nor gud HIV
  • if the test is ‘positive’, youpla gud HIV

Many people nor sabe all gud HIV because they feel well. But when youpla first get HIV you might have:

  • a headache
  • a fever
  • tiredness
  • swollen glands
  • sore throat
  • a rash
  • muscle and joint pain
  • ulcers in the mouth
  • ulcers on the genitals
  • night sweats
  • diarrhoea


But these could be caused by the flu, a bad cold or another illness. If youpla think you be ged e HIV youpla must see a doctor and ask for a test.

Wanem I do if I am HIV positive?

The first thing to do is talk to youpla doctor. They can also arrange for youpla por talk to someone else like a counsellor if you wandem.

The doctor will give youpla HIV medicines. These medicines will let youpla live a long, healthy life.

Can HIV be treated or cured?

HIV cannot be cured but medicines can treat it.

Medicine reduces the amount of virus in the blood to such a low amount, it can’t be seen even under a microscope. We call this ‘undetectable viral load’ and it means youpla won’t get sick from HIV and will have a normal lifespan. If youpla keep taking the medicine properly, it also means youpla will not give HIV to someone else.

How can I protect myself from gede HIV?

  • get tested and find out if youpla or your sexual partner has HIV: if youpla gud more than one partner (or your partner has sex with other people), get tested regularly. The risk of getting HIV is higher the more sexual partners youpla gud.
  • use condoms
  • get tested and treated for sexually transmissible infections (STIs). Having an STI increases youpla risk of getting HIV or giving it to other people. Ask youpla partners to get tested and treated for STIs
  • ask youpla doctor about pre‐exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is medicine to stop youpla getting HIV. It is for people who don’t have HIV but have a high risk of getting

‘High Risk’ means:

  • people whose partner has HIV
  • people who have more than one sex partner
  • a marn that has sex with other marn
  • people who don’t use condoms every time
  • people who share needles, syringes, water and spoons to inject drugs
  • use only sterile (clean) drug injecting equipment and water: never share youpla equipment with others. HIV can be passed from person to person in even blood drops too small to see in an injecting
  • tattooing and body piercing: only use a licensed studio where needles and other equipment are properly cleaned or thrown away after they have been used. Always make sure they use new ink for
  • Blood transfusions and other medical procedures: in Australia all blood, blood products and organs are tested and are But blood transfusions, blood products and organs might not be safe in other countries.

How can I meke sure I nor give HIV to someone else?

  • talk to youpla doctor about taking HIV medicine: HIV medicine makes the amount of virus in the blood very low. When the amount of virus is very low, youpla cannot give HIV to another person. This is called Treatment as Prevention (TasP).
  • get tested regularly: even if youpla tek e HIV medicine, youpla should still get tested regularly. There are different types of HIV virus and it is possible to have more than one type of HIV at the same time. The medicine may need to be changed if this happens.
  • get tested for STIs: HIV medicine nor stap youpla from gede STIs. HIV is easier to pass on (or get) if youpla have an STI. Get tested for STIs regularly and get treated if the test result is ‘positive’. Youpla sex partner(s) should be tested and treated too.
  • use condoms: use a condom every time youpla have sex
  • don’t share needles, syringes, spoons to inject drugs

breastmilk: If youpla taking HIV medicine and you wande breastfeed your baby, talk to youpla HIV doctor.

Do I have to spik anyone if I gud HIV?

By law youpla must tell:

  • youpla sex partner or partners. In some states in Australia, youpla must tell your sex partner before you have sex with them. Each State is different so check before youpla travel there.
  • the Australian Defence Force. You cannot join if youpla gud HIV.
  • if youpla are a pilot
  • if youpla buy some kinds of insurance like health or travel insurance
  • if youpla want to give blood or organs like a kidney. Youpla cannot give blood or organs if you have HIV.

You nor have to spik youpla:

  • boss
  • work mates
  • room mates
  • family
  • landlord
  • teacher
  • classmates
  • friends

People youpla should tell are:

  • youpla doctor so they can help you with testing and medicines
  • counsellors or other people who are part of your HIV care so they can help youpla

Where can I gede help and advice?

There are many HIV community groups in Australia that can give you advice and help youpla.

Get support from the HIV community

More information