What is HIV infection?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. The virus is passed on through blood and some bodily fluids, for example during unprotected sex, through injecting drugs, or from mother to child during childbirth. HIV damages your immune system, so you're more likely to get other infections.
You may be devastated to find out that you have HIV. But drugs can help control the virus and slow down or stop the damage it causes to the immune system. Drug treatments allow people with HIV to stay well and live relatively normal lives. If you start treatment early and keep yourself healthy, you could live almost as long as someone without HIV.