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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is HIV?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a type of virus that infects specific cells of the immune system, resulting in their destruction. This weakens the immune system.
What is AIDS?
AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. It is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which destroys specific cells of the immune system, called CD4 T-cells. When the number of these cells in the blood drops below a certain level, a person is said to …
What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
HIV is the virus, AIDS is the disease: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV invades and destroys cells of the immune system. This results in immunosuppression and, if it is …
How long does it take for HIV to cause AIDS?
It can take 8 to 11 years for HIV to cause AIDS, but this varies greatly between individuals. Treatment with antiretroviral medications can delay the development of AIDS for several decades, meaning that most people diagnosed with AIDS today can …
What are the symptoms of HIV/AIDS?
The symptoms of HIV/AIDS vary depending on the stage of infection. In the early stages, flu-like symptoms appear. Regular sexual health check-ups are a good idea, because it is impossible to tell if you have HIV based on your symptoms alone.
Can I get HIV from kissing someone?
You cannot get HIV from kissing someone because HIV is not transmitted by saliva.
Can I get HIV from oral sex?
There is a lot of debate about the risk of getting HIV from unprotected oral sex. There is no doubt that the risk is much less than vaginal and anal sex. However, there is a theoretical risk of getting HIV from oral sex.
What are antiretrovirals?
Antiretrovirals are a group of medications that block the replication of retroviruses such as HIV.
How do people get HIV?
HIV is transmitted through unsafe sex with a HIV-infected person, sharing a needle with a HIV-infected person, from an HIV-infected mother to their baby in the womb and from breastfeeding after birth. It cannot be caught from kissing someone, shaking their hands or …
About this article
Author: Jonathan Meddings BMedLabSc (Hons)
First answered: 22 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Votes: 1355 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: HIV and AIDS