HIV is the virus that causes the disease AIDS.
AIDS is a disease that makes your body unable to fight off certain illnesses. We have medicines that can treat HIV and AIDS, but there is no cure yet.
Drug use can put you in danger of getting HIV in two ways:
- Unsafe sex
When people are misusing drugs, they might not think clearly. They might do risky things. They might have sex without using a condom to protect against HIV, other infections, and pregnancy.
- Sharing needles
When people inject (shoot up) drugs like heroin, cocaine, or meth, they can get HIV by sharing a needle with someone who has the virus.
Doctors have learned that helping people to get off drugs also helps them avoid getting HIV.
Visit the HIV.gov webpage to learn more about HIV and AIDS.