Sunday, October 22, 2006
The truth is being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender does not give you AIDS. Certain sexual practices, certain drug use behaviors and other factors can put you at risk for catching HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

HIV is spread by sexual contact with an infected person, by sharing needles and/or syringes (for drug injection) with someone who is infected, or, less commonly through transfusions of infected blood or blood clotting factors. Babies born to HIV-infected women may become infected during birth or through breast-feeding after birth.

There is a lot of false or misleading information, often fueled by homophobia, that continues to be shared widely. Do seek out reliable sources when educating yourself about HIV/AIDS.

If your loved one is presently HIV-positive or has AIDS, they now need support more than ever. There are several local organizations that can help you with medical, psychological and physical care. Action for AIDs is a good resource for further information.