AIDS is a very serious disease, it can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, culture or sexual preference. AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. AIDS is caused by a virus called HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
The HIV virus takes a long time to develop into AIDS. So, a person might be infected for a prolonged period without being aware that he or she is a carrier of the virus. During this incubation period, the person might be placing others at risk of HIV by having unprotected sex or coming into contact with any bodily fluid. Since, it can take up to several years for an HIV infected person to develop AIDS; many persons can become infected from a single HIV carrier. Although people that tend to have more sexual partners are at high-risk, just because it increases the odds. Remember that it only takes one person to infect you.
HIV attacks the immune system. The immune system is how your body defends itself against infections. The way in which HIV alters the immune system is not know yet.
AIDS is the disease that a person infected with HIV develops when their immune system is damaged. Opportunistic infections can develop on AIDS affected individuals. An opportunistic infection develops when germs affect health. Some opportunistic infections can be simple everyday illnesses, such as the common cold. Since the immune system is affected, the body cannot protect itself from these simple everyday infections. AIDS infected persons can die of simple infections, because of their weakened immune system.
The most common opportunistic infections include: PCP (Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia), a lung infection; KS (Kaposi's sarcoma), a skin cancer; CMV (Cytomegalovirus), an infection that usually affects the eyes; and, Candida, a fungal infection that can cause thrush (a white film in your mouth) or infections in your throat or vagina.
The AIDS syndrome also includes serious weight loss, brain tumors, and other health problems.
AIDS is different in every infected person. Some people die soon after getting infected, while others live considerably normal lives for many years, even after they develop AIDS.
Learn the facts about HIV and AIDS and protect yourself.
Take some time to check out this site on HIV and AIDS. It’s packed full of information that can give you the background you need to stay free of this and other STDs. When you’re finished surfing the site, you can see how much you’ve learned by taking our interactive quiz .
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