What do you know about aids let me tell you some things about it.AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is a disease that attacks the immune system, your body’s main defense against disease. AIDS is caused by a virus known as HIV (or human immunodeficiency virus). First reported in 1981, HIV infection is now a worldwide epidemic, affecting 34 million. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 800,000 to 900,000 people in the United States are infected with HIV, and another 40,000 contract the virus every year.
HIV travels from person to person through body fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. It is most often spread through sex or by sharing needles used to inject drugs into the veins. An infected woman can also pass HIV to her child during birth or breast-feeding. Blood transfusions given to patients before 1986 also spread HIV, but the risk now of getting the virus this way is low-only 1 in 500,000. A person can’t catch HIV through casual contact such as hugs, kisses, or handshakes.
When HIVfirst invades the body, it causes minor damage to cells in your immune system. You may not have symptoms, or you may have only a few symptoms atfirst; these symptoms often go away for months or even years. During all that time, though, HIV continues its assault. As the immune system weakens, it can no longer fully protect the body from germs and other invaders. When the damage reaches a certain point, the HIV infection turns into AIDS, and life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia or cancer may soon follow.
There’s no cure for AIDS, but you can do a lot to prevent the disease in thefirst place. And if you have tested positive for HIV, or even if you have full-blown AIDS, you can do a lot to slow the progress of the disease and stay healthy longer. New research and treatments also hold great promise: They may soon make AIDS a chronic-not a fatal-disease.

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