All About Aids

What it is, what it does, and how to prevent it.

WHAT IS HIV/AIDS.

  • H – Human – This virus can only infect human beings.
  • I – Immunodeficiency – HIV weakens your immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection.
  • V – Virus – A virus can only reproduce itself by taking over a cell in the body of its host.



  • A – Acquired – AIDS is not something you inherit from your parents. You acquire AIDS after birth.

  • I – Immuno – Your body's immune system includes all the organs and cells that work to fight off infection or disease.

  • D – Deficiency – You get AIDS when your immune system is "deficient," or isn't working the way it should.

  • S – Syndrome – A syndrome is a collection of symptoms and signs of disease. AIDS is a syndrome, rather than a single disease, because it is a complex illness with a wide range of complications and symptoms.


THE SYMPTOMS FOR HIV/AIDS

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HIV?

The symptoms of HIV vary, depending on the individual and what stage of the disease you are in.

EARLY STAGE OF HIV: SYMPTOMS

Within 2-4 weeks after HIV infection, many, but not all, people experience flu-like symptoms, often described as the “worst flu ever.”

Symptoms can include:


  • Fever (this is the most common symptom)
  • Swollen glands
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches and pains
  • Headache



PROGRESSION TO AIDS: SYMPTOMS

If you have HIV and you are not taking HIV medication (antiretroviral therapy), eventually the HIV virus will weaken your body’s immune system. The onset of symptoms signals the transition from the clinical latency stage to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).

During this late stage of HIV infection, people infected with HIV may have the following symptoms:


  • Rapid weight loss
  • Recurring fever or profuse night sweats
  • Extreme and unexplained tiredness
  • Prolonged swelling of the lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck
  • Diarrhea that lasts for more than a week
  • Sores of the mouth, anus, or genitals
  • Pneumonia
  • Red, brown, pink, or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids
  • Memory loss, depression, and other neurologic disorders

HERE ARE SOME NEARBY TESTING FACILITIES

THERE IS NO CURE.

There is no functional cure for HIV or AIDS, meaning that there is no procedure or medication which has been proven to reliably eliminate the virus from a person's body.