AIDS Journal

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition which causes human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is a member of the group of viruses known as retroviruses. By damaging the immune system, HIV interferes with the body's ability to fight infection and disease. Following initial infection, a person may not notice any kind of symptoms, or may experience a brief period of influenza-like illness. Typically, this condition can go on for a prolonged period with no symptoms. If the infection progresses, it interferes more with the immune system, increasing the risk of developing common infections like tuberculosis, as well as other infections and tumours which are otherwise rare in people who have normal immune function. This stage is often also associated with unintended weight loss.

HIV spreads primarily by unprotected sex (including anal and oral sex), contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. Body fluids like saliva, sweat and tears don’t transmit the virus.

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Relevant Topics in Immunology & Microbiology