What is HIV/AIDS?
HIV stands for
HIV infects and gradually destroys an infected person's immune system, reducing their protection against infection and cancers.
Initially, someone living with HIV may show no symptoms of HIV infection as their immune system manages to control it. However, in most cases their immune system will need help from anti-HIV drugs to keep the HIV infection under control. These drugs do not completely rid the body of HIV infection
AIDS is short for
AIDS is not a single disease or condition. Instead, it is a term that describes the point when a person’s
immune system can no longer cope because of the damage caused by HIV and they start to get one or more specific illnesses.
People do not actually die from AIDS; they die from the cancers, pneumonia or other conditions that may take hold
when their immune system has been weakened by HIV.The term AIDS is now very rarely used.
It is more usual to talk of late-stage or advanced HIV infection.
For further information on HIV/AIDS visit the information resources page of the Terrence Higgins
Trust website at: