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What Is Hiv

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What is HIV?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus.
It is the virus that causes AIDS. When a person is infected with HIV, the virus enters the body
and then lives and multiplies primarily in the white blood cellsthe immune cells that normally
protect us from disease.
What is AIDS?
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
As HIV grows in an infected person, it damages or kills specific immune cells, weakening the
immune system and leaving the person vulnerable to infections and illnesses ranging from
pneumonia to cancer. Only when someone with HIV begins to experience one or more of these
conditions or loses a significant amount of immune cells are they diagnosed with AIDS.
How do I know if I’m infected?
Immediately after infection, some people may develop mild, temporary flu-like symptoms or
persistently swollen glands. Even if you look and feel healthy, you may be infected. The only
way to know your HIV status for sure is to be tested for HIV.
Can I tell whether someone has HIV or AIDS?
You cannot tell by looking at someone whether he or she is infected with HIV or has AIDS. An
infected person can appear completely healthy. But anyone infected with HIV can infect other
people, even if they have no symptoms.
How quickly do people infected with HIV develop AIDS?

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In some people, AIDS develops soon after infection with HIV. But many people do not develop
symptoms for 10 to 12 years, and a few remain symptom-free for much longer. Early detection
and treatment plays an important role in slowing the progression to AIDS and helps many people
with HIV lead relatively normal lives.
How many people are living with HIV/AIDS?
There are now roughly 36.7 million people living with HIV or AIDS worldwide. Most of them
do not know they are infected and may be spreading the virus to others. In the U.S., more than
1.2 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, and approximately 44,000 Americans become
newly infected with HIV each year. It is estimated that one-eighth of all people with HIV in the
U.S. do not know they are infected.
How is HIV transmitted?
A person who has HIV carries the virus in certain body fluids, including blood, semen, vaginal
secretions, and breast milk. The virus can be transmitted only if these HIV-infected fluids enter
the bloodstream of another person. This kind of direct entry can occur (1) through the linings of
the vagina, rectum, mouth, and the opening at the tip of the penis; (2) through intravenous
injection with a syringe; or (3) through a break in the skin, such as a cut or sore. Usually, HIV is
transmitted through:
Unprotected sexual intercourse (either vaginal or anal) with someone who has HIV.
Unprotected oral sex with someone who has HIV. There are far fewer cases of HIV transmission
attributed to oral sex than to either vaginal or anal intercourse, but oralgenital contact does pose
a risk of HIV infection.

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What is HIV? HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that causes AIDS. When a person is infected with HIV, the virus enters the body and then lives and multiplies primarily in the white blood cells—the immune cells that normally protect us from disease. What is AIDS? AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. As HIV grows in an infected person, it damages or kills specific immune cells, weakening the immune system and leaving the person vulnerable to infections and illnesses ranging from pneumonia to cancer. Only when someone with HIV begins to experience one or more of these conditions or loses a significant amount of immune cells are they diagnosed with AIDS. How do I know if I’m infected? Immediately after infection, some people may develop mild, temporary flu-like symptoms or persistently swollen glands. Even if you look and feel healthy, you may be infected. The only way to know your HIV status for sure is to be tested for HIV. Can I tell whether someone has HIV or AIDS? You cannot tell by looking at someone whether he or she is infected with HIV or has AIDS. An infected person can appear completely healthy. But anyone infected with HIV can infect other people, even if they have no symptoms. How quickly do people infected with HIV develop AIDS? In some people, AIDS develops soon after infection with HIV. But many people do not develop symptoms for 10 to 12 years, and a few remain symptom-free for much longer. Early detection and treatm ...
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