HIV and AIDS is not the same thing, did you know the difference between the two

On December 1, World AIDS Day is observed. The day was created to raise awareness and dispel myths about the disease, to remember those who have died due to it, and to protect those currently afflicted with it.

AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is one of the deadliest and most feared diseases and is among the ones that people from every age group need to be aware of.

Today, on World AIDS Day, here we explain the differences between AIDS and HIV and some of the most common myths about the syndrome. A very common misconception about the syndrome is that AIDS and HIV are the same things. Most of us are in the habit of using both terms interchangeably and are unaware of the meaning behind the two words.

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes infection, whereas AIDS is the disease that is caused by HIV, if left untreated.

What is HIV?

The human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that attacks the immune system of the body, making the infected person more vulnerable to other deadly diseases. It is spread via unprotected sexual contact, needles, and syringes.

The virus mainly affects the white blood cells aka leukocytes, that protect our immune system with against infections and other diseases.

There is no cure for the virus, but medications are available that control the infection. The virus remains in the infected body for a lifetime. 

What is AIDS?

AIDS (chronic immune system disease) is the advanced stage of infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). If the person gets infected with the virus and doesn’t get treatment for the same, then the person can develop a life-threatening disease AIDS. 

The person who has been diagnosed HIV positive doesn’t mean he has AIDS. 

There are three stages of HIV infection. 

Stage 1 – Acute HIV infection. Within a few weeks of the infection, the body may show slight flu-like symptoms.

Stage 2 – This is the second stage of the HIV virus, and is also referred to as chronic HIV infection. This stage can last as long as 10-15 years with no symptoms. 

Stage 3 – When the body losses it ability to fight back, and has virus has damaged the immune system of the body to an extreme extent that it not able to fight back, then the stage is termed AIDS. 

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