Definition / Transmission / HIV Testing / Living with HIV / FAQ

HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, which then weakens the body’s ability to fight disease and infection.  A common infection like the flu or a cold can be very difficult for the body to fight off after the immune system has been weakened by HIV. There is no cure for HIV but there are treatments.

People do not pass on AIDS. HIV is the virus that is being passed and then over time it may develop into AIDS. Someone is diagnosed with AIDS when HIV has weakened their immune system to the point where they have one or more infection that they can no longer fight off. Once someone’s HIV develops into AIDS, they may become very sick and this could lead to death.

Statistics Canada indicate that roughly 65 000 Canadians live with HIV and 26% of those infected don’t know it.  Anyone can get HIV, no matter who they are, if they have unsafe behavior.