HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that infects the cells of the human immune system and destroys or impairs their function, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases.
HIV can be found in body fluids of an infected person, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk and hence, spread through contact with these bodily fluids It is important to note that if left untreated, HIV can lead to the development of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) which is the to the most advanced stages of the HIV infection. Modes of transmission include:
  • Unprotected penetrative sex (i.e. having anal or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without the use of a condom). Oral sex is regarded as a low-risk sexual activity in terms of HIV transmission.
  • Sharing or re-using needles or syringes (According to CDC, HIV can live in a used needle up to 42 days depending on temperature and other factors)
  • Mother-to-child transmission can occur during pregnancy, delivery, and/or breastfeeding (the chances of transmission becomes extremely low if the mother is on antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy and breastfeeding). Going for antenatal care is highly recommended for pregnant women
  • Receiving transfusion of infected blood and blood products.
HIV is not spread by mosquitoes or other biting insects. Even if the virus enters a mosquito or another sucking or biting insect, it cannot reproduce in the insect.
HIV is not transmitted through air or water, saliva, sweat, tears or kissing, insects or pet, sharing toilets, food, drink, hugging or hand shaking.
Safe sex is possible with someone living with HIV though the correct and consistent use of condoms; pre-exposure prophylaxis or post-exposure prophylaxis taken by the uninfected partner in accordance with a health-care provider’s recommendations. In addition, when a person living with HIV is taking effective antiretroviral therapy and has a suppressed viral load, they are no longer infectious.
Knowing your HIV status is vital because if you are infected, you can start treatment promptly and in so doing, prolong your life. Also, knowing your status help you take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of HIV to others.
Most hospitals and health facilities provide testing for HIV infection. To identify and access an HTS site around your locality, click here
There is no cure for HIV but there is an effective treatment, if started promptly and taken judiciously, results in quality and length of life similar to that expected in the absence of infection.
APN is a method of assisted partner notification whereby tested HIV Seropositive Clients are offered the option of notifying their previous or current sexual partner(s) anonymously of their potential exposure to HIV infection.
Contact details of sexual partner (first name, his/her phone number or email address) is filled into the APN tool and an automated message is anonymously sent to the sexual partner(s), informing he/she/they may have being exposed to HIV and recommending he/she/they get tested without revealing who is recommending they get tested.
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) also called domestic violence, domestic abuse or relationship abuse is violence or pattern of behaviours used by one partner in an intimate relationship to maintain control over his/her partner, this could include physical, emotional, economic, verbal and/or sexual abuse.
Victims of IPV may experience physical, emotional, psychological, verbal and sexual abuse. Which could involve physical pulling of hair, punching, slapping, kicking, biting or choking partner, verbal threats, monitoring and controlling partner’s activities, forcing partner to have sex, exploiting partner’s feelings, controlling partner’s time and resources etc. for more information, click here click here

Section 8 subsection (2) of the HIV/AIDs Discrimination Act 2014 states that, any partner in a marriage or co-habiting relationship has the right to be informed of his or her partner’s HIV status in a situation where he or she considers himself or herself at risk of being infected by a partner.


Section 13 (1) of the HIV/AIDs Discrimination Act 2014 states that all persons living with HIV or affected by AIDS shall have the right to protection of data with respect to their health and medical records.

(2) a person who fails to comply with the provisions of this section, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than N500,000 for an individual and N1 million for an institution or for a term not exceeding two years, or both fine and imprisonment.