The Basics of HIV

HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that weakens your immune system, therefore compromising your body’s ability to defend itself against disease and illness. A person can live with HIV for years without any symptoms. During this time, however, they can still pass HIV onto others.

Without treatment, your immune system can become increasingly weak, leading to potential life-threatening infections. If a person contracts one of these secondary, or opportunistic infections, they will be diagnosed with AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Although there is no cure for HIV, we have learned a lot about it over the past thirty years, particularly how it is transmitted, how to prevent infection, and how to maintain the immune system once someone has HIV.