HIV counselor in front of magnet board

HIV Info

Of the more than one million people estimated to be living with HIV in the United States, one in five don't know they're infected. The best way to fight HIV is to know your status.


If you think you may have been infected with HIV/AIDS, we encourage you to get a free, confidential HIV test.

Have questions about HIV/AIDS? We have answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, and is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).  It is a virus that attacks the immune system. 

Over time, and without treatment, HIV gradually destroys the body's defenses against disease, leaving it vulnerable to many infections and cancers that do not normally develop.

AIDS is a late stage of HIV disease.  By the time of an AIDS diagnosis, HIV has already seriously damaged the body's immune system.  Often, a person living with AIDS will already have had life-threatening infections or cancers. 

Learn more about acquiring HIV, testing for HIV, and HIV treatment options.

Switch on your HIV Smarts with BETA

The Bulletin of Experimental Treatments for AIDS is your bright and brainy source on new developments in HIV prevention, evolving approaches to HIV treatment, and strategies for living well with the virus.

Latest BETA News

Harnesses & harm reduction at Folsom Street Fair [photo essay]

Harnesses & harm reduction at Folsom Street Fair [photo essay]

  This year, more than 300,000 revelers attended the 33rd annual Folsom Street Fair, San Francisco’s yearly extravaganza of sexual self-expression and all things leather. Over thirteen blocks in SOMA, … Read More

Hey healthcare providers of young gay/queer men: Are you telling them about PrEP?

Hey healthcare providers of young gay/queer men: Are you telling them about PrEP?

I was disheartened—though maybe not surprised—to find out that most young gay, queer, and bisexual men in California who’ve heard about PrEP haven’t heard about it from their health care … Read More

The HIV test came back positive – now what?

The HIV test came back positive – now what?

In honor of National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, David Duran shares tips and advice for gay men that test positive for HIV. In my case, it happened when I was … Read More

Synthetic marijuana, K2, and spice, oh my! What are they, and why are they dangerous?

Synthetic marijuana, K2, and spice, oh my! What are they, and why are they dangerous?

Last month, a synthetic drug called “spice” was responsible for an outbreak of illness among people in Los Angeles—with more than 50 people being hospitalized with side effects that included … Read More

Ask A Pharmacist: With a new tenofovir, should you switch to Descovy, Genvoya or Odefsey?

Ask A Pharmacist: With a new tenofovir, should you switch to Descovy, Genvoya or Odefsey?

Many people living with HIV may be familiar with an HIV medication called tenofovir. Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (brand name Viread, and also known as “TDF”) is an NRTI. It is … Read More

10 reasons the HIV community should vote YES for the Dignity Fund

10 reasons the HIV community should vote YES for the Dignity Fund

In honor of the National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (September 18) BETA brings information about a proposition that will be on the ballot this fall that would support our older community … Read More

With fake painkillers hitting the streets, the “fentanyl crisis” is only getting worse

With fake painkillers hitting the streets, the “fentanyl crisis” is only getting worse

Shipped in from overseas, a synthetic pain killer called fentanyl is responsible for big increases in overdoses and deaths among people who use drugs in the U.S. Pressed into fake … Read More

See more articles on the BETA Blog...