Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus. You may hear that someone is "HIV infected", "has HIV infection", or "has HIV disease." These are all terms that mean the person has HIV in his or her body and can pass the virus to other people.
HIV attacks the body's immune system. The immune system protects the body from infections and disease, but has no clear way to protect it from HIV. Over time, most people infected with HIV become less able to fight off the germs that we are all exposed to every day. Many of these germs do not usually make a healthy person sick, but they can cause life-threatening infections and cancers in a person whose immune system has been weakened by HIV.
People infected with HIV may have no symptoms for 10 or more years. They may not know they are infected. An HIV test is the only way to find out if you have HIV. See HIV Counseling and Testing (below) for information and resources.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a late stage of HIV disease. Medications can help people living with HIV or AIDS live longer, healthier lives. Some people have lived for more than 20 years and have taken medicines for more than 10 years. Not everyone's disease progresses or responds to medications in the same way. AIDS has serious health consequences, it can interfere with quality of life and there is no cure.
HIV Counseling and Testing
Hamilton County residentscan receive free, anonymous and confidential HIV testing and counseling at:
Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service
139 White Birch Lane,
Indian Lake, NY 12842
Call: 518-648-6497 or 1-888-648-6497 (toll free)
St. Mary's Hospital Amsterdam Memorial Campus
Occupational Health Department
4988 St. Hwy 30
Warren County Municipal Center
1340 State Route 9
Lake George, NY 12845
Public Health Office
(Back of building, entrance #6)
Note: These sites contain HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages on these sites may address these topics.