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HIV and AIDS: Differences and Connection

HIV and AIDS: Differences and Connection

It’s easy to confuse AIDS from HIV, although they go hand-in-hand. When once being diagnosed with these diseases, it doesn’t mean a life sentence, thanks to research, new treatment developments, and HIV communities, people who have HIV nowadays can live long productive lives with a near-normal lifespan.

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus and the name describes itself: only humans can contract it. This virus can lead to a condition called AIDS, which is also called stage 3 HIV. Both affect the immune system.

Our immune systems can normally clear bodily viruses, except HIV, causing an infection or elevating it to AIDS, which stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Having HIV increases your risk of developing this condition—AIDS, which is worse than HIV.

HIV is transmittable from person to person while AIDS can only develop only after a person contracts HIV. The virus is transmitted to another person through bodily fluids exchange. Most commonly, it is contracted via sex without condoms, shared needles, or during pregnancy.

HIV doesn’t always produce symptoms. After transmission, the person experiences flu-like symptoms for up to four weeks, then it goes through a period of latency where the body tries to put the infection under control for a long time, which is why a person with HIV may experience no symptoms at all.

Their tests vary too, which they can have privy from a community outreach program in the Washington Metropolitan area. HIV is diagnosed through a simple test such as a blood or saliva test. The diagnosis of AIDS can be more complicated as it has to be determined if HIV latency has progressed to stage 3 HIV, and thus will need to count the immune cells, also called CD4 cells.

Progressive Alliance For The Targeted Health is a non-profit organization that focuses on helping people with HIV or AIDS. Allow us to help.

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