Many medical advances have been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Most of the medical advances have been in the area of increasing the quality of life of infected persons. To date, there is still no cure for HIV and AIDS.
Before the discovery of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS, studies of AIDS patients' sex partners and AIDS cases occurring in blood transfusion recipients before 1985 clearly showed that the underlying cause of AIDS was an infection causing factor.
Infection with HIV is the only common factor shared by persons with AIDS throughout the world, including homosexual men, transfusion recipients, persons with hemophilia, sex partners of infected persons, children born to infected women, and health care workers who were infected with HIV while on the job, mainly by being stuck with a needle used on an HIV-infected patient.
Although we know that HIV is the cause of AIDS, much remains to be known about exactly how HIV affects the immune system.
Scientists are constantly discovering more information about HIV and AIDS. These discoveries help people learn how to stop transmission of the virus and help people infected with HIV to live longer, healthier lives.