HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV is a virus that damages the immune system. Treatments are available for HIV but there are no vaccines or a cure available.
HIV is a virus spread through body fluids that affects specific cells of the immune system called CD4 cells or T cells. Over time HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease.
HIV can be spread by having sex with someone who is infected with HIV, sharing drug injecting equipment with someone who is infected with HIV and unsafe tattooing. HIV is not spread by kissing, cuddling, shaking hands, sharing food and cutlery or through mosquito bites.
HIV is preventable. HIV can be prevented by always using condoms when having sex, using new sterile injecting equipment for every injection (not sharing) and only getting tattoos and body piercings when you are sure that sterile equipment is used.
Other prevention options include PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (Post-exposure prophylaxis). People on PEP and PrEP take tablets to prevent HIV infection either before or after coming into contact with HIV. Click more information on HIV prevention
How will our HIV Service help you?
Our services provide free testing, management, support and treatment for HIV in a safe and private space.
Please refer to the guide on how HIV information is managed by selecting one of the links below;
NSW Health Privacy Leaflet for HIV Patients (MLHD)
NSW Health Privacy Leaflet for HIV Patients (SNSWLHD)
We run programs to increase awareness and knowledge of HIV, supply information resources, free condoms and lubricant.
We work with specific groups in our community:
- Men who have sex with men
- People with HIV
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
- People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds
- People who inject drugs
- People recently released from prison
- Sex Industry Workers
- Young people at risk