Family PACT

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Sexually Transmitted Infections:  HIV Facts

Provider talking about HIV Your Family PACT provider can test you for HIV.

What is HIV?

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. People can get
it from having sex with someone who has it. HIV
harms the immune system. The immune system is
how the body fights off infections.

People may not know they have HIV. They may not
have signs until many years after they get the virus.
But they can still pass HIV to other people. The only
way to know if a person has HIV is to get tested.

Could I get HIV?

Men and women of all ages can get HIV. You have a
higher chance of getting it if:

  • You or your sex partner have had other
  • You or your sex partner have shared needles
    with anyone.

If you think you are at risk, you may want to get an
HIV test.





How do people get HIV?

HIV is spread through semen, blood, vaginal fluid,
or breast milk that has the virus in it. This can
happen when you:

  • Have sex using the mouth, penis, vagina, or
  • Share needles to use drugs.

It can also be passed from mother to child during
pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.
You cannot get HIV when you:

  • Shake hands
  • Hug
  • Kiss
  • Get mosquito or other insect bites
  • Share or touch saliva, tears, or sweat

Should I get tested for HIV?

Everyone should get tested for HIV at least once in
their life. After that, if you think there's a chance
you could get it, you should get an HIV test at least
once a year.

You can ask for an HIV test from your Family PACT
provider. Or he or she may suggest you get it done.
Some providers have rapid HIV testing in their
office. They will give you the result in about 20

  • The test looks for HIV antibodies in your blood
    or the cells of your mouth. Antibodies are what
    your body makes to fight off infection.

If you do not want to be tested for HIV, tell your
provider. You do not need an HIV test to be in the
Family PACT program.

  • Your Family PaCT provider can answer any
    questions you may have about HIV and
    HIV testing.

What do my test results

If you test negative:

  • Either you do not have HIV or it is too soon
    to tell.
  • It can take your body up to 3 months to make
    HIV antibodies. It may be too soon after you
    were infected for the antibodies to show up on  
    a test
  • Your Family PACT provider will let you know
    if you need to get a second test and when to
    get it.

If you test positive:

  • Your provider may order a second test to make
    sure that you have HIV.
  • Your provider will talk with you and send you
    to services that can help you.

Man tested for HIV I got tested for HIV because I care about my health.

Where can I get tested?

  • Your Family PACT provider can test you
    for HIV.
  • You can also find testing sites by calling the
    California STD/HIV hotline at 1-800-367-2437.
    These sites are private and no one will know
    who you are.
  • To find more HIV services near you, visit the
    California Office of AIDS website at

Protect yourself!

  • Use a condom to protect yourself from HIV.
  • Limit the number of sex partners you have.
  • Do not shoot drugs. If you do, make sure you
    use clean needles.
  • Make good choices. When you get drunk or
    high, you may take chances. You might have
    sex without a condom.


to learn more about HIV:

  • Call the CDC toll-free hotline at
    1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)
  • Visit

For more information about the Family PACT
program and providers near you:

  • Call 1-800-942-1504
  • Visit

Department of Health Care Services Family PACT logo

2012 Department of Health Care Services, Office of Family Planning. All Rights Reserved. 
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