AIDS and the HIV infection does not discriminate based on sex, sexual orientation, race, socio-economic class, etc. Many men and women who are HIV positive do not realize they are carrying the virus because it is not unusual for individuals to remain symptom free for many years. However, people who have the HIV infection can transmit the virus to others even if they have no symptoms. HIV can be transmitted by semen, blood, blood products, and vaginal and cervical secretions.