Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health


South Dakota Department of Health
Office of Disease Prevention Services - 605-773-3737 — (1-800-592-1861 in South Dakota only)
NOTE: Since HIV is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages on this site may address these topics. HIV prevention materials funded by CDC must be approved by local program review panels. However, the materials may be considered controversial by some viewers.

How you CAN get HIV infection/AIDS
Blood, semen, vaginal secretions, breastfeeding

How you WON’T get HIV infection/AIDS
Not through saliva, tears, urine, stool

  • Unprotected sexual contact (anal, vaginal, or oral) with an HIV infected person

  • Sharing needles and syringes - injectable drug use

  • Receiving blood transfusions or organs between January 1977 and June 1985 (blood and organs received after June 1985 are considered safe from HIV)

  • Mother to baby before, during, or after birth (HIV may be transmitted through breast milk if the infant is nursed by an HIV infected mother)

  • Occupation in healthcare or lab

  • Not by being bitten by mosquitoes or other bugs

  • Not by being bitten by an animal

  • Not by eating food handled, prepared, or served by someone with HIV infection

  • Not by sharing toilets, telephones, or clothes

  • Not by sharing forks, spoons, knives, or drinking glasses

  • Not by touching, hugging, or kissing a person with HIV infection

  • Not by attending school, participating in sports, church, shopping malls, or other public places with HIV infected people


How You Can Reduce Your Risk of Exposure and Infection with HIV

  1. Abstain from having sexual intercourse. Your risk of exposure to HIV through
    sexual contact becomes zero when you are not exposed to potentially infectious blood, semen, or vaginal secretions.

  2. Develop a monogamous relationship with mutual fidelity. Persons who are not infected and in a monogamous (one sex partner) relationship with mutual fidelity (no cheating), have no risk of exposure to HIV through sex (provided neither shares IV drug needles).

  3. Avoid sex with persons at risk for getting HIV, persons who have tested positive for HIV, or persons who have AIDS.

  4. The use of condoms can reduce your risk of any sexually transmitted disease, but they are NO guarantee. Brand name latex is best.

  5. Don’t abuse IV drugs. Don’t shoot drugs, if you do, don’t share needles or
    syringes. Many diseases are spread this way (Hepatitis).

  6. If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, get counseled and tested. Refer to the listing below for free and confidential counseling, testing, referral, and information.

South Dakota HIV/AIDS Statistics

Symptoms of HIV Infection

  • The only way to know whether you are infected is to be tested for HIV.

  • You cannot rely on symptoms alone because many people who are infected with HIV do not have symptoms for many years.

  • Someone can look and feel healthy but can still be infected.

  • 1 in 7 of the HIV-infected persons in the United States do not know that they are infected. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Q&A symptoms for more information.

HIV Testing

  • Once HIV enters the body, the body starts to produce antibodies—substances the immune system creates after infection.

  • There are many different kinds of HIV tests, including rapid tests and home test kits.

  • All HIV tests approved by the US government are very good at finding HIV. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Q&A on testing for more information.

Finding a Testing Site

  • Many places offer HIV testing: doctors' offices, hospitals, and sites specifically set up to provide HIV testing.

  • You can locate a testing site by visiting the CDC HIV testing database or by calling CDC-INFO (formerly the CDC National AIDS Hotline) at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) 24 Hours/Day. You do not have to give any personal information about yourself to use these services to find a testing site.

  • Department of Health HIV Counseling and Testing Sites - free confidential information and HIV testing

Confidential Information

HIV/AIDS Prevention/Surveillance Program

South Dakota AIDS Hotline
Department of Health 1-800-592-1861 (in-state)

CDC Hotline

You may also contact a private physician to inquire about obtaining HIV counseling and testing; usually a fee is involved.

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