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Adults with HIV

A diagnosis of HIV affects you, your family, your partner and your friends. This page describes the help available and provides details of who to contact for further information and advice.

How can HIV be passed on?

HIV can be passed on in the following ways:

  • unprotected sexual intercourse – vaginal, oral or anal without using a condom
  • sharing contaminated needles, syringes and ‘works’
  • from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
  • from contaminated blood or blood products

HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s defence system preventing it from fighting illnesses and infections.

HIV is not passed on by shaking hands, kissing, touching or hugging, sharing cups, cutlery, crockery or towels. HIV is not spread by sneezing or coughing or from tears or sweat. A person does not get infected with HIV from daily contact.

What do we provide in partnership with voluntary sector organisations?

Counselling and emotional support

You may feel the need to discuss your fears and anxieties. It may be difficult for you to talk about your thoughts and feelings with your family. We offer emotional and psychological support in a confidential and non-judgmental environment.

Financial advice

Extra expenses may be associated with your illness. You may be entitled to various benefits or be eligible for financial help from other sources. You may also be given support with continuing to work.

Practical assistance

You may have physical difficulties in coping with daily living, need help in the home or help with travelling to hospital appointments. We will work with you. Call:

  • National AIDS Helpline: 0800 567 123
  • call 0800 717 2227 for other languages

How can I get help?

Page updated on: 16 July 2019