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Defining AIDS and HIV in the United States

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) refers to the advanced development of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and extensive damage to the immune system. Not everyone who acquires HIV develops AIDS. HIV is an infection that invades immune systems cells called CD4-positive (CD4+) T cells that fights infections. HIV invades the body’s CD4+ T cells and damages the immune system;s ability to fight against diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and other microscopic organisms. There are medications for the treatment of HIV; these medicines slow down the rate at which HIV replicates and subsequently weakens the immune system.
AIDS is defined as certain signs or symptoms as specified in guidelines formulated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including:
; HIV-infected persons with <200 CD4+ T cells
; HIV-infected persons with at least 1 of more than 24 AIDS-associated conditions (infections caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses rarely seen in healthy people)
When HIV progresses to AIDS, it is fatal, yet, the rate of AIDS-related deaths has decreased with the development of new medicines. Some HIV-infected individuals may show little or no immune system deterioration and low levels of HIV even after 15 or more years of infection in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. Studies of acute infection and long-term non-progressors provide facts about the immune responses needed to develop an HIV vaccine. Experimental vaccines have proven protective and well tolerated in animal models of AIDS but not in humans.
In conclusion, anyone is capable of becoming HIV-infected. Therefore, it is important to educate people on the definition and facts about AIDS. The CDC reported that 2.2 million Americans now carry the HIV virus but do not yet have symptoms; AIDS the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 35; and the HIV-infected rate in the U.S. is appr

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