What is HIV?

HIV is an acronym for the human immunodeficiency virus. It is a retrovirus that infects the helper T cells of the immune system. HIV can cause AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is an incurable virus, which can cause a life-threatening condition called AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). A person who has been infected with HIV is said to be HIV-positive There are two main types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. The most aggressive form of the virus is HIV-1. If untreated, HIV can cause so much damage that the infected person's immune system no longer works properly. When this happens, the person is said to have developed AIDS. Although HIV reproduces very rapidly, it is referred to as a 'slow virus'. This is because it takes a long time - many years, in most cases - before it causes so much damage that a person gets ill.

HIV differs from other viruses in that it specializes in attacking the very immune cells - white blood cells known as Helper T cells, or CD4 cells - that are designed to rid the body of infections. By infecting and ultimately destroying Helper T cells, HIV seizes control of the body's immune system. Infected cells no longer behave as they should and instead of helping to fight the disease, they actually spread it. There is no cure for HIV, so although drugs can help to keep the virus under control, they cannot completely get rid of the infection.
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV attacks cells in the body that fight disease and uses them to reproduce.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.) HIV is transmitted though blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk. HIV attacks the part of the body that fights disease, the immune system. Specifically speaking, white blood cells. People infected with HIV may have increased difficulty fighting disease over time. When an HIV+ person reaches a certain level of immune deficiency they may receive an AIDS diagnosis.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome(AIDS), a condition in humans in which the immune system begins to fail, leading to life-threatening opportunistic infections. Infection with HIV occurs by the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, or breast milk. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells. The four major routes of transmission are unsafe sex, contaminated needles, breast milk, and transmission from an infected mother to her baby at birth (perinatal transmission).