Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus spread through sexual contact where secretions or blood are exchanged. There are other ways to be exposed as well including sharing needles with drug use. It is difficult to get HIV through kissing. Over a quarter of all new infections of HIV are in people under 26 years of age and over half of these people do not know they are infected with HIV.
Symptoms of HIV can occur several weeks after exposure and then go away. They include:
- generalized body aches and swollen lymph nodes
HIV can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This usually occurs many years after exposure to HIV. This syndrome is an advanced stage of the HIV infection. Medications can control the virus but there is no cure for HIV.