This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). HIV infection eventually develops into AIDS, though it can be years before symptoms appear. HIV weakens the immune system, putting a person at greater risk for opportunistic infections which can become severe.

HIV is chiefly spread by sexual contact and blood-to-blood transmission such as sharing needles, syringes, rinse water, or other equipment used to prepare illicit drugs for injection.

High Risk Groups for HIV

Nationally, HIV is spreading fastest among young people, gay and bisexual men, African Americans, and Latinos. In Mississippi, the burden of HIV is disproportionately high for men who have sex with men (MSM). Young adults aged 20-29 are the leading age group for newly diagnosed cases.

Getting Tested

Free or affordable texting for HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases is available from county health departments and other providers statewide.

Additional Resources


For more information contact:

  • Mississippi AIDS Hotline: 1-800-826-2961
  • The National STD and AIDS Hotlines, 1-800-227-8922 or 1-800-342-2437. (24 hours, 7 days)
  • Spanish: 1-800-344-7432 from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Central time
  • Hearing-impaired: 1-800-243-7889 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Central time
Last reviewed on Nov 13, 2019 request edits
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866‑HLTHY4U Contact and information

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