HIV is a virus that targets and alters the immune system, increasing the risk and impact of other infections and diseases. Without treatment, the infection might progress to an advanced disease stage called aids.

hiv and aids



 HIV is a virus that targets and alters the immune system, increasing the risk and impact of other infections and diseases. Without treatment, the infection might progress to an advanced disease stage called aids.


Causes of AIDS


AIDS is caused by HIV. A person can’t get AIDS if they haven’t contracted HIV.

Healthy individuals have a CD4 count of 500 to 1,500 per cubic millimeter. Without treatment, HIV continues to multiply and destroy CD4 cells. If a person’s CD4 count falls below 200, they have AIDS.

Also, if someone with HIV develops an opportunistic infection associated with HIV, they can still be diagnosed with AIDS, even if their CD4 count is above 200.



 Symptoms of AIDS :

  • recurrent fever

  • chronic swollen lymph glands, especially of the armpits, neck, and groin

  • chronic fatigue

  • night sweats

  • dark splotches under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids

  • sores, spots, or lesions of the mouth and tongue, genitals, or anus

  • bumps, lesions, or rashes of the skin

  • recurrent or chronic diarrhea

  • rapid weight loss

  • neurologic problems such as trouble concentrating, memory loss, and confusion

  • anxiety and depression

     Antiretroviral therapy controls the virus and usually prevents progression to AIDS. Other infections and complications of AIDS can also      be treated. That treatment must be tailored to the individual needs of the person.



What is HIV?

HIV is a virus that damages the immune system. The immune system helps the body fight off infections. Untreated HIV infects and kills CD4 cells, which are a type of immune cell called T cells. Over time, as HIV kills more CD4 cells, the body is more likely to get various types of infections and cancers.




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HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids that include:

  • blood

  • semen

  • vaginal and rectal fluids

  • breast milk

 the United States, the main causes of this transfer of fluids are:

  • anal or vaginal intercourse with a person who has HIV while not using a condom or PrEP, a preventive HIV medication for people at high risk of infection

  • sharing equipment for injectable illicit drugs, hormones, and steroids with a person who has HIV

symptoms of HIV?

After the first month or so, HIV enters the clinical latency stage. This stage can last from a few years to a few decades. Some people don’t have any symptoms during this time, while others may have minimal or nonspecific symptoms. A nonspecific symptom is a symptom that doesn’t pertain to one specific disease or condition.

These nonspecific symptoms may include:

  • headaches and other aches and pains

  • swollen lymph nodes

  • recurrent fevers

  • night sweats

  • fatigue

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • diarrhea

  • weight loss

  • skin rashes

  • recurrent oral or vaginal yeast infections

  • pneumonia

  • shingles

As with the early stage, HIV is still infectious during this time even without symptoms and can be transmitted to another person. However, a person won’t know they have HIV unless they get tested. If someone has these symptoms and thinks they may have been exposed to HIV, it’s important that they get tested.

HIV symptoms at this stage may come and go, or they may progress rapidly. This progression can be slowed substantially with treatment. With the consistent use of this antiretroviral therapy, chronic HIV can last for decades and will likely not develop into AIDS, if treatment was started early enough. 

HIV and AIDS myths and facts

Many misconceptions circulate about HIV that are harmful and stigmatizing for people with the virus.

The following cannot transmit the virus:

  • shaking hands

  • hugging

  • kissing

  • sneezing

  • touching unbroken skin

  • using the same toilet

  • sharing towels

  • sharing cutlery

  • mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or other forms of “casual contact”

  • the saliva, tears, feces, and urine of a person with HIV



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 1 in every 7 HIV-positive Americans is unaware of their HIV status.

Becoming aware of HIV status is vital for commencing treatment and preventing the development of more severe immune difficulties and subsequent infections.


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No cure is currently available for HIV or AIDS.

However, treatments can stop the progression of the condition and allow most people living with HIV the opportunity to live a long and relatively healthy life.

Starting ART early in the progression of the virus is crucial. This improves quality of life, extends life expectancy, and reduces the risk of transmission, according to the WHO’s guidelines from June 2013.

More effective and better-tolerated treatments have evolved that can improve general health and quality of life by taking as little as one pill per day.

A person living with HIV can reduce their viral load to such a degree that it is no longer detectable in a blood test. After assessing a number of large studies, the CDC concluded that individuals who have no detectable viral load “have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.”