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HIV (or Human Immunodeficiency Virus) weakens your immune system, your body’s built-in defence against disease and illness.

Anyone can be infected with HIV. You can have HIV without knowing it. You may not look or feel sick for years, but you can still pass the virus on to other people.

Without HIV treatment, your immune system can become too weak to fight off serious illnesses. HIV can also damage other parts of your body. Eventually, you can become sick with life-threatening infections. This is the most serious stage of HIV infection, called AIDS (or Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome).

There is no vaccine to prevent HIV. There is no cure for HIV… but there is treatment. There is no cure for HIV, but with proper care and treatment, most people with HIV can avoid getting AIDS and can stay healthy for a long time. Anti-HIV drugs have to be taken every day. They cannot get rid of HIV but they can keep it under control.

For more on HIV treatments, please see:

HOW DOES HIV GET TRANSMITTED?

Only five body fluids can contain enough HIV to infect someone: blood, semen (including pre-cum), rectal fluid, vaginal fluid and breast milk. HIV can only get passed when one of these fluids from a person with HIV gets into the bloodstream of another person—through broken skin, the opening of the penis or the wet linings of the body, such as the vagina, rectum or foreskin.

HIV cannot pass through healthy, unbroken skin.

The two main ways that HIV can get passed between you and someone else are:

  • - through unprotected sex (anal or vaginal sex without a condom
  • - by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs (including steroids)

HIV can also be passed:

  • by sharing needles or ink to get a tattoo
  • by sharing needles or jewellery to get a body piercing
  • by sharing acupuncture needles
  • to a fetus or baby during pregnancy, birth or breast-feeding.

HIV cannot be passed by:

  • - talking, shaking hands, working or eating with someone who has HIV
  • - hugs or kisses
  • - coughs or sneezes
  • - swimming pools
  • - toilet seats or water fountains
  • - bed sheets or towels
  • - forks, spoons, cups or food
  • - insects or animals

For more on how HIV is transmitted, please visit CATIE’s How Transmission Occurs page.

More Resources:

Government of Canada HIV/AIDSGovernment of Canada HIV/AIDS

Resources

AIDS Committee of Windsor

511 Pelissier Street
Windsor, Ontario, N9A 4L2
519-973-0222 ext. 117
www.aidswindsor.org
Walk-in or appointment

The AIDS Committee of Windsor (ACW) is a registered charity that provides support, education and outreach services for people living with, affected by, or at-risk of HIV/AIDS. Our services span the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent counties through two offices located in downtown Windsor and downtown Chatham respectively.

Tecumseh/Byng Clinic

2085 Tecumseh Road East
Windsor, Ontario, N8W 1C9
519-254-6115
www.wrh.on.ca
Walk-in or appointment

The services we provide are both comprehensive and confidential. We believe that caring for the whole person is necessary for managing HIV and maintaining a good quality of life. We also believe that such care must be kept confidential. It is essential for you to know that everything you share with us is kept to ourselves. Your medical file is kept at our clinic and no one has access to your information without your written consent. This even includes employees of Windsor Regional Hospital outside of this clinic.

Canadian AIDS Society

www.cndaids.ca

Created in 1986, the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) is a national voice for people living with HIV/AIDS and represents our members at the national level.

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (Leamington Office)

33 Princess Street
Leamington, Ontario, N8H 5C5
519-258-2146 ext. 1200
www.wechu.org
By appointment only

Public health programs keep our community healthy by promoting improved health, preventing disease and injury, controlling threats to human life and function, and facilitating social conditions to ensure equal opportunity in attaining health for all.

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

1240 Bay Street, Suite 600
Toronto, ONT,  M5R 2A7
Phone: 416-595-1666
www.aidslaw.ca

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network promotes the human rights of people living with, at risk of or affected by HIV or AIDS, in Canada and internationally, through research and analysis, litigation and other advocacy, public education and community mobilization.

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (Windsor Office)

1005 Ouellette Avenue
Windsor, Ontario, N9A 4J8
519-258-2146 ext. 1200
www.wechu.org
By appointment (closed 12pm – 1pm)

Public health programs keep our community healthy by promoting improved health, preventing disease and injury, controlling threats to human life and function, and facilitating social conditions to ensure equal opportunity in attaining health for all.

Street Health

711 Pelissier Street
Windsor, Ontario, N9A 4L4
519-997-2824
www.wechc.org/streethealth
By appointment ONLY

Windsor Essex Community Health Centre, Street Health Site provides primary care and supportive services to individuals in our community who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

 
 
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