HIV 101

What is HIV?

H- Human

I- Immunodeficiency

V- Virus

HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s defenses. After entering the body the virus starts to destroy cells in the body’s natural immune system that normally defends the body from infection and disease.

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.

What is AIDS?

A- Acquired

I- Immune

D- Deficiency

S- Syndrome

AIDS is a diagnosis that results from advance HIV infection. AIDS can only be diagnosed by a doctor after a blood test shows less than 200 t-cells per one drop of blood and the presence of one or more opportunistic infections.

Symptoms of HIV infection are similar to the flu which may include fever, swollen glands, fatigue, and night sweats. These generally only last about a week. HIV can live in your body for many years without any symptoms. Therefore getting testing is critical to early detection.