We're now Burnett Foundation Aotearoa

Ending HIV & New Zealand AIDS Foundation have changed our name to Burnett Foundation Aotearoa, after one of our founders - Bruce Burnett. Find out more

  • Can I acquire HIV from sharing a drinking glass with someone living with HIV?
    That's right, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.
    Nope, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.
    no
  • Can I acquire HIV from hugging someone living with HIV?
    That's right, HIV is not transmitted via skin contact.
    Nope, HIV is not transmitted via skin contact.
    no
  • Can I acquire HIV from eating food prepared by someone living with HIV?
    Correct! No, HIV is not transmitted through saliva and, even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air would destroy the virus.
    No, HIV is not transmitted through saliva and, even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air would destroy the virus.
    no
  • Can pregnant people living with HIV give birth without passing on HIV to their baby?
    That's right, if a pregnant person living with HIV is on effective medication, it is very likely they’ll be able to give birth to an HIV-negative child.
    Nope, thanks to modern medicine pregnant people living with HIV who are on effective treatment can often give birth without transmitting HIV to their baby.
    yes
  • Can I acquire HIV from having sex with someone living with HIV who has an undetectable viral load?
    That's right, having an undetectable viral load means that HIV cannot be transmitted sexually - even without condoms
    Nope, having an undetectable viral load means that HIV cannot be transmitted sexually - even without condoms
    no
  • Can I acquire HIV from kissing someone living with HIV?
    That's right, HIV is not transmitted through saliva and it can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with an HIV positive person.
    Nope, HIV is not transmitted through saliva and it can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with an HIV positive person.
    no
  • Can I acquire HIV sharing a swimming pool with someone living with HIV?
    That's right, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.
    Nope, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.
    no
  • Can I acquire HIV from someone living with HIV sneezing near me?
    That's right, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.
    Nope, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.
    no
  • Can I acquire HIV from getting semen or vaginal fluids on my skin?
    That's right, HIV is not transmitted through the skin and HIV starts to die very quickly after being exposed to the open air.
    Nope, HIV is not transmitted through the skin - also HIV starts to die very quickly after being exposed to the open air.
    no

That's right, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.

FACTS & MYTHS

Can I acquire HIV from sharing a drinking glass with someone living with HIV?

Nope, HIV can only be transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, breastfeeding and/or direct blood to blood contact with someone living with HIV.

FAQs

How risky is oral sex for HIV transmission?

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Extremely low. Risk only increases if there are open and bleeding cuts in the mouth. Read more about what sexual activities place you at risk of contracting HIV.

What’s the difference between HIV and AIDS?

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HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and is a virus that attacks the immune system, killing off healthy immune system cells that normally fight off infection. HIV is transmitted through blood, semen, anal mucous, vaginal fluid and breast milk.

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and is the term used to indicate complete deterioration and destruction of immune function - the final stage of HIV. People with HIV who are on consistent antiretroviral (ARV) treatment can expect to lead long and healthy lives and may never progress to AIDS.

What are the signs/symptoms of having HIV?

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Not everyone who gets HIV will experience any short-term symptoms. So, symptoms or not, it's important to test twice a year - or more often if you haven't been playing safe.  In some people, symptoms may occur from two to four weeks after HIV infection and may include flu-like symptoms that are easily confused with other infections, such as fatigue, fever, night sweats, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, headache, loss of appetite or skin rash. These symptoms usually last less than two weeks although they can last as long as 10 weeks. If you‘ve recently had unprotected anal sex and experience any of these symptoms, you should have an HIV test with NZAF, your emergency room, GP or sexual health service.

Also, keep in mind that not all doctors will recognise the symptoms of HIV. If you see a doctor because you have one of the symptoms listed above, it’s important to explain that you feel at risk of HIV and ask to be tested, even if they don't suggest it. Don't assume you will be tested for HIV just because they take your blood. Ask to be sent a copy of the results.

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