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HIV, (human immunodeficiency virus) causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). This illness weakens the immune system, making it less able to fight certain infections and diseases.

1. You cannot get HIV from …
–working with or being around someone who has HIV
–sweat, spit, tears, clothes, toilet seats, or through everyday things like sharing a meal
–insect bites or stings
–donating blood
–a closed-mouth kiss (but there is a very small chance of getting it from an opened-mouth or "French" kiss with an infected person because of possible blood contact)

2. You can get HIV from …
–sexual intercourse and oral sex
–birth, if your mother is infected
–a blood transfusion
–sharing needles with someone who is infected

3. HIV can infect anyone, gay or straight.

4. You can live up to 10 years with HIV without showing a single symptom.

5. Birth control methods like the pill or the patch give you no protection from HIV. Condoms give you some protection, but only if they are used correctly.