Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that can be transmitted from person to person via exposure to both blood and specific body fluids. Once inside the body, the virus attacks certain cells of the immune system and, over time, causes immune cell destruction to the point that the body can’t fight off certain opportunistic infections and/or cancers. Most people appear and feel healthy early in the course of HIV infection, but are quite capable of spread the virus to others who come in contact with the infected person’s blood or body fluids. Many persons with HIV infection are unaware of their status as carriers capable of spreading HIV to others. When the opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of the weakened immune system the condition has progressed to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
People who are high risk for contracting HIV can prevent infection by taking a daily medication to prevent HIV. This type of treatment is called Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) does an excellent job of providing information on HIV and AIDS related topics. on their website.
Topics of relevance to HIV and AIDS that are addressed by the CDC include the following: