Did you know that in Iowa, four males for every female are diagnosed with HIV? Iowans who are black/African American and Latino are also disproportionately impacted by HIV in Iowa. This is not because they are more likely to engage in behaviors putting them at risk for HIV, but because of social determinants of health impacting access to care and services.
Learn the facts about HIV and get tested!
What is HIV?
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) attacks the cells of the body’s immune system. It locates and destroys CD4+ cells, which coordinate immune system responses. There is no cure, but it can be managed with treatment. The main goals of treatment are to reduce the virus to very low levels (called viral suppression) and improve health outcomes.
How is HIV transmitted?
HIV is transmitted through direct contact with the following body fluids from someone who has HIV:
- Semen or pre-seminal fluid
- Rectal fluids
- Vaginal fluids
- Breast milk
A person with HIV with an undetectable viral load cannot sexually transmit the virus.
Who should get tested for HIV?
- Everyone ages 15 to 64 should be tested at least once
- All pregnant women should be tested for HIV.
- Persons who engage in behaviors at high-risk for HIV should be tested more frequently:
- Men who have sex with men
- People who inject drugs
- People who test positive for STDs
- People who exchange sex
- People who have sex without using condoms or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
Information on this page provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health.