Putting It All Together: AIDS

Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to AIDS.

  • AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency, or immune deficiency, syndrome) is an advanced stage of a viral infection that attacks the body’s disease-fighting immune system.
  • HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) is the infectious agent that is the cause of AIDS.
  • HIV/AIDS testing is available anonymously through clinics and requires a blood sample.
  • Not everyone who has HIV infection develops AIDS.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of AIDS includes all HIV-infected people who have a very low level of key immune cells and/or one of a number of medical conditions that are the result of HIV’s attack on the immune system.
  • A number of drugs are available to help HIV-infected individuals live longer and healthier lives.

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