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Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV destroys cells in the body's immune system, crippling the defensive power of the body.


Eighty percent of all HIV-infected people acquire infection through sexual contact. Because of conditions in some developing countries, there is a significant risk of contracting HIV infection through blood transfusions and injections with contaminated needles that haven't been properly sterilized.

Where Is It?

AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are more common in developing countries, but international travelers should be very cautious about sexual contact wherever they go.

Prevention Tips

  • Avoid casual sexual contact.
  • Use latex condoms correctly with a vaginal spermicidal jelly for every sexual interaction.
  • Never use needles and syringes used by other people.
  • Never use another person's razor, shaver or toothbrush.
  • Don't get tattoos or have any part of your body pierced.
  • If you need a blood transfusion, try to ensure the donor blood has been tested.
  • In non-emergency situations, request to be flown home if blood can't be adequately screened before transfusion.

Available Immunizations

There is currently no immunization available for the prevention of AIDS.