HIV is the human immune deficiency virus that sabotages the human immunity to the extent that it fails to fight off infections, germs, allergens, viruses, and bacteria. HIV is the virus that is responsible for causing the disease called Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDs). So if you are wondering is HIV and AIDs the same? Know that it is not so. HIV is the causative agent, and AIDs is the disease.

Having HIV can make affected people fall prey to illnesses due to reasons that usually do not affect normal human beings. Having AIDs increases the risk of getting rare diseases and conditions because you literally have lost your natural defence mechanisms. Both males and females can get affected with AIDs, and both the genders are equally capable of transmitting this disease. A report from the CDC reveals that as much as 1.1 million people in the USA have AIDs, and every year 37600 new cases are emerging.

Read on to know is HIV and AIDs the same? 

It is interesting to know that even if someone has HIV in their body, still they may not have AIDs. It takes years to develop AIDs after that virus enters the body. AIDs cannot be cured, and there is no medicine found to date that can destroy HIV. But there is management and help available. That can enable people with AIDs to live a healthy life, and even have a normal life span.

The main target of HIV is the T-cells of the immune system, which are the primary weapon of the body to fight against diseases. This murder of T-cells by HIV can continue for a decade without any significant symptoms in a person. AIDs are the delayed stage of HIV infection in which the amount of T-cells in the body is reduced to such an extent that they fail to fight common allergen and diseases causing agents. People carrying HIV are termed as AIDs patients when they acquire certain AIDs defining symptoms and illnesses such as cancer and when their CD4 cell count shows to be less than 200.

How do you get AIDS

HIV can be transmitted from body fluids, including :

· Blood

· Breast milk

· Vaginal secretions

· Semen

This can happen through the skin that is not intact, from contact through vagina, anus, penis, and mouth. Most commonly people acquire AIDs from :

· Unprotected sex

· Sharing needles for drug abuse

· Unsterilized needles for tattoo and body piercing

· HIV can also be transmitted from mothers to their babies before birth or during breastfeeding.

· Having a blood transfusion from an infected person can also result in the transmission of this virus.

· People involved in the healthcare profession are at higher risk. They need to take special precautions as well. They can get HIV through infected needles accidentally poked, or through blood getting in contact with their broken skin, splashed into nose or eyes.

The best way to stay safe is to adopt strict precautionary measures. Use latex condoms for intimate contacts be it oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Do not use unsterilized equipment for tattoo and piercings. Do not share used needles with anyone and do not use dirty equipment for shaving or any other purpose that poses the risk of cuts.

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