If you have sex with someone who has AIDS, not HIV, can you still get HIV? – Sarah* Yes. People who have AIDS are infected with the HIV virus. This means they can pass HIV on to others. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) happens after someone has had HIV for many years. In AIDS, the immune system is severely weakened. When someone gets HIV, that person can spread the infection to other people immediately. And if HIV develops into AIDS, the virus can spread to others. HIV/AIDS spreads when infected blood or body fluids (such as semen or vaginal fluids) enter the body. This can happen: during sex (especially anal sex and vaginal sex) through sharing needles for injecting drugs or tattooing by getting stuck with a needle with an infected person's blood on it HIV/AIDS also can pass from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. To reduce your risk of getting HIV/AIDS if you are sexually active: Use a condom every time you have sex (including vaginal, oral, or anal sex). Get tested for HIV and make sure all partners do too. Have fewer sexual partners. Get tested and treated for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases); having an STD increases the risk of HIV infection. Consider taking a medicine every day (called PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis) if you are at very high risk of getting infected (for example, if you are in a sexual relationship with someone who has HIV/AIDS). It's also important to: not inject drugs or share any kind of needle not share razors or other personal objects that may touch blood not touch anyone else's blood from a cut or sore *Names have been changed to protect user privacy. Back to Articles Related Articles Talking to Your Partner About Condoms Some people - even those who are having sex - are embarrassed by the topic of condoms. Here are some tips for talking about condoms with your partner. Read More How to Get Tested for HIV Often the only way to know if someone is infected with HIV is through testing. Here are the facts on what's involved in getting tested — and who should get tested for HIV and why. Read More STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) You've probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Find out how to protect yourself. Read More How Do People Get AIDS? AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is a disease where the body is unable to fight off many infectious diseases as it normally could. Find out how AIDS is spread and how to protect yourself against it. Read More HIV and AIDS There is no cure for AIDS, which is why prevention is so important. Get the facts on HIV/AIDS, as well as how it affects the body and is treated, in this article. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.