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AIDS

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. A disease transmitted through blood and semen. Caused by HIV.

AIDS is "a viral disease that results in impairment of the body’s immune system. People with AIDS can get a number of life-threatening diseases that generally do not affect the health of individuals with healthy immune systems. They may also contract very severe cases of more common diseases. AIDS is generally diagnosed at the most advanced stage of HIV infection, and this diagnosis signals significant damage to the body’s immune system." Definition From Negative or Postive.

Basic Information

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). By killing or damaging cells of the body's immune system, HIV progressively destroys the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers.

Over one million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS today. Worldwide, the figure is over 33 million. Effective HIV care—including antiretroviral drug therapies and regular access to primary health care—can help people manage their HIV disease and live longer.


Living with Aids

There is no cure for HIV or AIDS yet despite the large efforts underway to develop a preventative and therapeutic vaccine. However, research has advanced HIV/AIDS treatments greatly since the early days of the epidemic, and HIV drugs can slow down the virus’s attack on the human immune system. People with HIV/AIDS can now live healthier, longer lives.

Living with HIV/AIDS requires consultation with an HIV doctor who can help individuals with treatment and drug decisions. The decision to start drug treatment is a very personal decision and one that should only be made in consultation with a health care provider based on clinical status (symptoms), immune system health (CD4 count and viral load), whether a diagnosis of AIDS has been made, and whether a treatment plan can be maintained (treatment adherence). While treatment has its benefits, it also has its risks, such as multiple side effects from HIV drugs and therapies, potential toxicity from drug treatments, as well as possible resistance of HIV to drugs over time.


From Aids dot Gov: http://www.aids.gov/


Additional Resources

Aids dot Org: http://www.aids.org/
US Center for Disease Control - Aids Page: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/
US National Institute of Health - Aids Page: http://www.aidsinfo.nih.gov/default.aspx