Conditions InDepth: AIDS
Main Page | ]]>Risk Factors]]> | ]]>Symptoms]]> | ]]>Diagnosis]]> | ]]>Treatment]]> | ]]>Screening]]> | ]]>Reducing Your Risk]]> | ]]>Talking to Your Doctor]]> | ]]>Living With AIDS]]> | ]]>Resource Guide]]>
]]>Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome]]> (AIDS) is an illness that weakens the body's immune system. The immune system of a person with AIDS is not able to fight off certain infections and cancers.
The Immune System
AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which destroys important immune system cells. HIV is spread through contact with HIV-infected blood or other body fluids, including semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk. Unprotected sex is the most common mode of transmission. Sharing needles for injecting drugs is another common way the virus is transferred.
More than one million people are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, and an estimated 56,300 new HIV infections are expected to occur this year. Since the first cases of AIDS were reported in 1981, infection with HIV has grown to pandemic proportions—33 million people are living with the disease worldwide.
]]>What are the risk factors for AIDS?]]>
]]>What are the symptoms of AIDS?]]>
]]>How is AIDS diagnosed?]]>
]]>What are the treatments for AIDS?]]>
]]>Are there screening tests for AIDS?]]>
]]>How can I reduce my risk of AIDS?]]>
]]>What questions should I ask my doctor?]]>
]]>What is it like to live with AIDS?]]>
]]>Where can I get more information about AIDS?]]>
Basic statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm . Updated February 26, 2009. Accessed November 5, 2009.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pneumocystis pneumonia—Los Angeles. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1981;30:250-252.
Conn HF, Rakel RE. Conn's Current Therapy 2001 . 53rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2001.
Global HIV/AIDS estimates, end of 2007. AVERT website. Available at: http://www.avert.org/worldstats.htm . Updated August 2008. Accessed November 5, 2009.
HIV/AIDS. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/ . Accessed September 25, 2008.
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). 2006 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic. Geneva, Switzerland: UNAIDS; 2006.
Noble J, Greene HL. Textbook of Primary Care Medicine . 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Inc; 2000.
Last reviewed October 2009 by ]]>David L. Horn, MD, FACP]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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