HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) was identified in 1983 as the virus that causes AIDS. This virus passes from person to person most commonly via sexual contact and needle sharing. The virus is in body fluids: blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk. People with HIV may not have any symptoms; however, they may develop severe or prolonged fevers, swollen lymph glands, diarrhea, and other symptoms when they first become infected. Many develop AIDS, which makes them susceptible to infections and certain cancers that most healthy people resist.
AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a condition caused by HIV infection. The longer you have HIV, the greater the risk of developing the disease AIDS. The HIV virus attacks the body’s immune system making it difficult to fight off other infections. These infections may eventually become fatal. People with AIDS develop diseases that most healthy people can normally resist or control, such as certain pneumonias, thrush, or recurrences of childhood infections. They may also suffer from cancers rarely found among people with healthy body defenses. Since the virus can enter the brain and other organs throughout the body, many people with AIDS have trouble with movement, memory, and body functions.
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