How is HIV transmitted?

HIV can be transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal), and oral sex with an infected person; transfusion of contaminated blood or blood products; and the sharing of contaminated needles, syringes or other sharp instruments. It may also be transmitted between a mother and her infant during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.

How quickly does a person infected with HIV develop AIDS?

The length of time can vary widely between individuals. Left untreated, the majority of people infected with HIV will develop signs of HIV-related illness within 5-10 years. However, the time between HIV infection and an AIDS diagnosis can be 10–15 years, sometimes longer. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) can slow the disease progression by decreasing an infected person’s viral load and prolong life. The first ART were introduced in 1996.

How can I limit my risk of HIV transmission through sex?

Use male or female condoms correctly each time you have sex.
Practice only non-penetrative sex.
Remain faithful in a relationship with an uninfected equally faithful partner with no other risk behaviour.
Abstain from sex.
Some information states that many people get infected when they are in the process of ending or starting a serious relationship. A recommendation is to go and have an HIV test after 3-6 months together with your new partner before you stop using condoms.