HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It harms the immune system by destroying the white blood cells that fight infection. This puts you at risk for serious infections and certain cancers.
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the final stage of infection with HIV. Not everyone with HIV develops AIDS.
Causes and Risk Factors
1. Unprotected sex with an infected person
2. Drug needles
3. Through contact with the blood of an infected person
4. Women can give it to their babies during pregnancy or childbirth
Signs and Symptoms
The first signs of HIV infection may be swollen glands and flu-like symptoms. These may come and go within two to four weeks. Severe symptoms may not appear until months or years later.
Your doctor may recommend a blood test to check for the HIV infection.
There is no cure, but there are many medicines that fight HIV infection and lower the risk of infecting others. People who get early treatment can live with the disease for a long time.