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HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)


What is HIV and how do I get it?
HIV is a virus that kills your body’s "CD4 cells." CD4 cells (also called T-helper cells) help your body fight off infection and disease. HIV can be passed from person to person if someone with HIV infection has sex with or shares drug injection needles with another person.


What do I need to know about HIV?
Anyone can get HIV. The most important thing to know is how you can get the virus. You can get HIV:

  • By having unprotected sex- sex without a condom- with someone who has HIV.
  • By sharing a needle and syringe to inject drugs or sharing drug equipment used to prepare drugs for injection with someone who has HIV.
  • From a blood transfusion or blood clotting factor that you got before 1985. (But today it is unlikely you could get infected that way because all blood in the United States has been tested for HIV since 1985.)
  • Infected mother to baby, through pregnancy, delivery, and in some cases, mother's milk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a reliable source of information on HIV and AIDS. Click on the links below to learn more.

How do I know if I have HIV or AIDS?
You might have HIV and still feel perfectly healthy. The only way to know for sure if you are infected or not is to be tested.

Eastern Idaho Public Health offers HIV and other STD testing. Rapid HIV tests are available at all health district offices for a minimal fee. The information on your HIV test and test results are confidential, as is your other medical information.

For More Information
Eastern Idaho Public Health has health care professionals who can answer your questions about HIV or provide you with information on the services we provide, including confidential testing. Call the number below and ask to speak to a nurse.  

Reproductive Health Department
Eastern Idaho Public Health
1250 Hollipark Drive
Idaho Falls, ID 83401
(208) 525-7245

For additional online resources on HIV/AIDS as well as other sexually transmitted diseases, click on "Online Resources" tab at the top of this page.

Return to EIPH home page.