Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection (HIV), also called Acquired
Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), is a disease of the immune system caused by
the immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV denotes the initial infection. AIDS refers
to the confirmation and the advanced stage of the disease.
people living with HIV have no signs and symptoms at all.
The disease may go unnoticed with no apparent symptoms for a long time, even
years. The signs and symptoms of this disease are caused by opportunistic
infections and can be easily confused with other symptoms that are common to
other diseases. For instance, first symptoms are usually similar to a simple
flu. The disease progressively damages the immune system, making it vulnerable
against those opportunistic diseases and infections.
The virus develops specific
antibodies within three to twelve weeks of the initial infection and can be
- Blood transfusions
- Sexual intercourse
- Contaminated elements reaching
the blood stream (like needles)
- Pregnancy (from mother to child)