HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). HIV infection eventually develops into AIDS, though it can be years before symptoms appear. HIV weakens the immune system, putting a person at greater risk for opportunistic infections which can become severe.
HIV is chiefly spread by sexual contact and blood-to-blood transmission such as sharing needles, syringes, rinse water, or other equipment used to prepare illicit drugs for injection.
High Risk Groups for HIV
Nationally, HIV is spreading fastest among young people, gay and bisexual men, African Americans, and Latinos. In Mississippi, the burden of HIV is disproportionately high for men who have sex with men (MSM). Among men whose risk factor for HIV is known, 97 percent of men reported having male-to-male sexual contact. Young adults aged 20-29 represented the majority (45 percent) of newly diagnosed cases in 2015, but the burden was highest among black males aged 20-24.
For more information contact:
- Your local health department, or call our Health Info Hotline at 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948). HIV/AIDS testing is free and private.
- Mississippi AIDS Hotline: 1-800-826-2961
- The National STD and AIDS Hotlines, 1-800-227-8922 or 1-800-342-2437. (24 hours, 7 days)
- Spanish: 1-800-344-7432 from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Central time
- Hearing-impaired: 1-800-243-7889 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Central time