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AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a disease caused by a virus called HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). The illness alters the immune system, making people much more vulnerable to infections and diseases. This susceptibility worsens as the disease progresses.

HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person (semen and vaginal fluids, blood and breast milk). The virus is passed from one person to another through blood-to-blood and sexual contact. In addition, infected pregnant women can pass HIV to their babies during pregnancy, delivering the baby during childbirth, and through breast feeding.

HIV can be transmitted in many ways, such as vaginal, oral sex, anal sex, blood …show more content…

The following information will help you protect yourself against HIV and AIDS.
AIDS Information
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes AIDS, which is the term used to describe the later, potentially more serious, stages of HIV infection.
HIV damages the immune system and destroys the body 's CD4 T lymphocytes (T cells), one of many types of white blood cells the body uses to fight disease. T cells help the immune system "identify" foreign organisms that should be attacked. Thus, when the T cells are destroyed, it 's like being defended by a leaderless army that is easily defeated.
A person can be infected with HIV for ten years or even longer without showing any symptoms. However, in most cases, during that time the virus is attacking the immune system and destroying T cells.
By the time HIV damages enough cells to bring on full-blown AIDS, many of the typical symptoms can be present: weight loss, sporadic fevers, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, and opportunistic infections such as certain types of pneumonia. Rare cancers and infections of the kidneys, digestive system, and brain can also develop.
HIV is passed from person to person by direct contact with blood or other body fluids through activities like unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sexual contact with an infected person or through sharing syringes or needles

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