WHAT IS AIDS?
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: Acquired means you can get infected with it. Immune Deficiency means a weakness in the body’s system that fights diseases.
means a group of health problems that make up a disease.
- AIDS is caused by a virus called HIV, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
- If you get infected with HIV, your body will try to fight the infection. It will make “antibodies,” special molecules to fight HIV.
A blood test
for HIV looks for these antibodies.
- If you have them in your blood, it means that you have HIV infection. People who have the HIV antibodies are called “HIV-Positive.”
or having HIV disease, is not the same as having AIDS.
- Many people are HIV-positive but don’t get sick for many years. As HIV disease continues, it slowly wears down the immune system.
- Viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria that usually don’t cause any problems can make you very sick if your immune system is damaged. These are called “Opportunistic Infections.”