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For Teens: What You Should Know About HIV and AIDS

HIV is a virus that causes AIDS. AIDS kills by making a person unable to fight off disease. There is no cure. HIV/AIDS doesn’t just kill gay men. It can kill you. HIV is passed from person to person. It is passed through body fluids. This includes blood, semen, and vaginal fluid. HIV can be passed from a pregnant mother to her unborn child.

How you can get HIV

You can get HIV from:

  • Having sex with a person who has HIV or AIDS. This includes vaginal, oral, or anal sex. It can be sex with someone of the opposite or same sex.

  • Sharing infected needles used to inject drugs or steroids.

  • Sharing infected needles used for body piercing or tattooing.

How you can't get HIV

You can't get HIV from:

  • Hugging, kissing, or shaking hands with someone who has HIV.

  • Toilet seats, doorknobs, tables, or dishes.

  • Insect bites.

Condom.

It’s up to you to protect yourself

Protect yourself from HIV. How? By staying away from the main thing that can give you HIV. That’s having sex without a condom. You can’t tell if people have HIV by the way they look. Are you thinking about having sex? Then be ready to protect yourself. Stay sober. Getting high on alcohol or drugs makes you lose control. Then you are more likely to have sex without a condom.

1. Don’t have sex:

  • You don’t need to have sex to have a great time and get close to someone.

  • Having sex increases your chances of getting HIV or some other disease.

  • Don’t give in to pressure to have sex. Wait until you’re ready. There are a lot of responsibilities that go along with sex.

2. If you do have sex, use a latex condom:

  • Are you having sex? Then use a condom each time you have sex. Latex male condoms and female condoms both help protect you. Using a latex condom correctly and consistently can help reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Keep latex condoms on hand. Store them in a cool, handy place. Don’t keep them in your wallet or car. This can make the latex break up.

  • Learn how to use condoms right.

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.