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HIV/AIDS

What is HIV? What is AIDS?

HIV or human immunodeficiency virus, can lead to a disease known as AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV attacks and the immune system's cells, especially CD4 cells (also known as T-cells). The immune system becomes weakened and if left untreated can make one increasingly vulnerable to infections or infection-related cancers. AIDS is the final stage of the HIV infection, where there is a low number of remaining CD4 cells and the immune system is no longer able to fight off infections and diseases1.

Can people with HIV live a healthy life?

Whilst the human body cannot get rid of the virus completely and there is currently no cure for HIV, when promptly and properly treated patients can live a healthy life. Furthermore, chances of the disease being transmitted can be lowered1.

How many people have HIV/AIDS worldwide?

At the end of 2015 approximately 36.7 million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS. Of these people, 2.1 million infections happened in 20152 and 1.8 million were children below 15 years of age. Globally, only 60% of people with HIV know their status; however, the number of people living with HIV and receiving treatment (antiretroviral therapy (ART)) is increasing.


References

1. What are HIV and AIDS?

HIV.gov, www.hiv.gov. Cited on 01/03/2018.

2. Fact sheet - Latest statistics on the status of the AIDS epidemic.

UNaids, www.unaids.org. Cited on 01/03/2018.

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