- HIV reduces the body's ability to fight infection and illness
- AIDS is the third and most advanced stage of infection
- A person can live with HIV virus for 10 to 15 years before getting AIDS
Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) are often believed to be a similar condition. However, HIV and AIDS are neither the same conditions nor are they the same diagnosis. HIV is a virus which attacks CD4, a type of white blood cell in body's immune system. A person who has been diagnosed HIV positive will find it difficult to recover even from a minor injury or sickness. HIV reduces the body's ability to fight infection and illness. While the body is able to fight many viruses, some of them can never be removed. HIV is one such virus which can never be removed from the body. AIDS, on the other hand, is a disease which causes a range of symptoms. A person infected with HIV is likely to develop symptoms of AIDS over a period of time if s/he does not receive treatment for HIV.
A person can have HIV without developing AIDS, however it is not possible to develop AIDS without having HIV.
What is HIV?
CD4 cells or T cells are the ones which keep the body healthy. HIV attacks these cells and reduces them in number. This makes the person more vulnerable to infections from bacteria and virus. Destruction of CD4 cells can be controlled with the help of antiretroviral drug therapy. You can catch HIV by coming in direct contact with breast milk, vaginal fluid, semen and blood. The virus is commonly passed from person to person by sexual intercourse, mother-to-baby infection during pregnancy and by sharing needles.
Also read: Watch Out For These Early Signs Of HIV
What is AIDS?
When is HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS. According to WebMd, AIDS is the third and most advanced stage of HIV. A person who has not been diagnosed with HIV or has not been treated with HIV drugs early enough, is likely to develop AIDS.
If you are healthy, your CD4 count is likely to be anywhere between 500 to 1600. You can have AIDS if your CD4 count is below 200.
A person can live with HIV virus for around 10 to 15 years before getting AIDS. If you get treated for HIV, you might never develop AIDS. Once you have AIDS, you can still live for a long time with the help of antiretroviral treatment.
Symptoms of AIDS
Some warning signs of AIDS include night sweats, depression, loss of memory, sudden and unexpected weight loss, fever that keeps coming back, pneumonia, blotches on skin, nose, eyelids or mouth, feeling tired for no reason and sores in mouth, genitals and anal area.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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