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HIV and Aids

Feb 22, 2005

I would like to know the difference between HIV and Aids. I have a pretty good idea but would like a more expert answer. Thanks!

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

There's a weatlh of information about this distinction on the site, but in brief, anyone with HIV infection is HIV+. For a long time, most HIV+ persons are without any symptoms or significant immune deficiency.

However, over time, HIV kills of the immune cells (CD4s) and results in functional immune deficiency. We define AIDS as having a low level of CD4s (less than 200) or having one of a number of illnesses, like cancers or infections, that are distinct to those with HIV infection.

In, sum, all persons with AIDS have HIV, not everyone with HIV has AIDS (and hopefully will be able to access medications before AIDS occurs).

Hope this helps, BY



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