HIV can be transmitted sexually, by sharing syringes and transmitted from mother to child during childbirth and breastfeeding. Most people have no symptoms for many years upon contracting HIV. Using a condom when having sex protects against the infection. Pregnant women on successful treatment have very low risk of infecting their child with HIV during childbirth. HIV is caused by a virus. There is no vaccine or cure against HIV. Medication helps to keep the HIV virus at bay.