Just because HIV and AIDS is not talked about as much as they were in the late 1980’s and throughout the 90’s doesn’t mean that they no longer exists.
Education is key, know the differences, share the information. With around 2.7 million people becoming infected with HIV in 2010, there are now an estimated 34 million people around the world who are living with HIV, including millions who have developed AIDS.**
HIV is a virus. Viruses such as HIV cannot grow or reproduce on their own, they need to infect the cells of a living organism in order to replicate (make new copies of themselves). The human immune system usually finds and kills viruses fairly quickly, but HIV attacks the immune system itself – the very thing that would normally get rid of a virus.
AIDS is the late stage of HIV infection, when a person’s immune system is severely damaged and has difficulty fighting diseases and certain cancers. Before the development of certain medications, people with HIV could progress to AIDS in just a few years. Currently, people can live much longer – even decades – with HIV before they develop AIDS. This is because of “highly active” combinations of medications that were introduced in the mid 1990s.
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