What is HIV, what is AIDS, and what is the difference?

HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and is the virus that *CAN* cause AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). There are many viruses that cause people to become sick (e.g. the “flu”, common cold, mono). HIV damages the body by destroying blood cells (called T cells) that help fight infections. This means your immune system no longer works properly and you are more likely to get infections that can make you very sick. With current medications, HIV can be effectively treated and people can live healthy lives.

AIDS (the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is diagnosed when an individual’s immune system is too weak to fight infections.

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