Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Definition

AIDS is a disease caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV causes a lowered immunity by destroying the body's cells that help fight infection.

Causes

People get AIDS through sexual activities, exposure to infected blood and by blood transfusions. A mother can pass the infection to a developing baby (fetus) in the womb (uterus).

Treatment

HIV is diagnosed by a blood test that is very confidential. There are many treatments for HIV being tested today. Some of the treatments include medication combinations that have been shown to extend the life of HIV infected pateints.

Comments

People with AIDS often have frequent infections that are hard to treat. While many people die of AIDS every year, many are also living longer due to better treatments.

Related Links

National Library of Medicine
The National Library of Medicine provides consumer inforamtion and pictures about HIV.