Note: This site contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages on this site may address these topics.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, a disease that causes the body to lose its natural protection against infection. The disease is one of the most devastating epidemics in modern history.
The virus is found in the blood and other body fluids of infected individuals. It can be transmitted during vaginal, anal or oral sex; or when sharing needles to shoot drugs, pierce the body or make tattoos. Pregnant women with HIV infection can pass the virus to their baby during pregnancy or delivery, as well as through breast feeding.
HIV attacks certain white blood cells that protect the body against illness. A person with AIDS is more likely to become ill from infections and unusual types of pneumonia and cancer that healthy persons normally can fight off.
Since HIV was first identified in 1981, it has spread rapidly throughout the world. In the United States, an estimated 800,000 to 900,000 people are currently living with HIV/AIDS, and up to one-third do not know they are infected. Since 1981, nearly 450,000 people in the United States have died.
Approximately 40,000 people in the United States become infected each year. People of color, particularly African Americans and Latinos, are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS and have some of the highest infection rates. Gay and bisexual men, injection drug users and women represent other populations at greatest risk of infection.
There is no vaccine or cure for AIDS and those with HIV are infected for life.
There are, however, treatments and medicines that can help the body resist the virus, including anti-retroviral drugs. These drugs can increase the number of years between contracting HIV and developing AIDS, but they are not able to prevent the onset of AIDS.
Frequently Asked Questions About: HIV and AIDS
Health Care and Support Services
Connecticut AIDS Drug Assistance Program (CADAP)
Connecticut Insurance Premium Assistance (CIPA) Program
Connecticut Ryan White Part B Standards of Care
Health Care and Support Services Quality Management Plan
- Quality Management Plan
- HIV / AIDS Services in Connecticut
- HIV Care, Prevention, and Support Services in Connecticut by County
HRSA Monitoring Standards for Part B
- Universal Monitoring Standards Frequently Asked Questions
- Universal Monitoring Standards Part A & B
- Part B Fiscal Monitoring Standards
- Part B Program Monitoring Standards
HIV and Employment
HIV Prevention and Education
- Black MSM - Get Tested Campaign
- Condom Ordering Policy
- Condom Ordering Information
- HIV/AIDS Epidemiological Profile
Connecticut HIV Planning Consortium
HIV Partner Services Referrals
HIV Prevention Policies
- HIV Testing
- Implementing HIV Testing in Nonclinical Settings: A Guide for Testing Providers
- HIV testing locations in Connecticut
- Informed Consent to HIV test
Overdose Prevention Education and Naloxone Distribution - OPEN Access CT Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window
- OPEN Access Guidelines
- OPEN Access Membership Form
- Responding to an Overdose using Naloxone
- FAQs about the Teleflex Medical Voluntary Recall of Certain Atomizers included in Some Naloxone Kits
Codes for L4 field to be entered in EvaluationWeb:
HIV Case Reporting
Preexposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
- PrEP Fact Sheet
- Connecticut PrEP Providers
- Postexposure Prophylaxis Guidelines
- Reporting Guidance for HIV Positive Cases
Sexual Assault and HIV
- Guide to Developing & Managing Syringe Access Programs
- SSP Development & Implementation Guidelines for Health Departments
- Syringe Service Programs in Connecticut
Tell Me What You See (TMWYS) - NEW
A supplemental resource developed in Connecticut that health educators can use to enhance existing curricula for high school-aged youth. The initiative addresses STDs, hepatitis and HIV prevention and integrates essential knowledge and skill development through an art-based approach to prevention education. The artwork and poetry was created by incarcerated youth and focuses on a multidisciplinary approach: Tell Me What You See Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window
Routine HIV Testing in Health Care Settings
The CDC-INFO Center provides timely, science-based, and consistent health information. It replaces the CDC HIV/AIDS Hotline. The CDC-INFO CENTER can be reached 24 hours a day at: