What is Aids?


AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, a general term to describe illness that is caused by infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV infects the white blood cells of your body, the agents of your immune system, and gradually deteriorates your body's ability to fight off common infections and cancers. It is these infections and cancers, referred to as opportunistic infections (OIs), that comprise AIDS and lead to severe illness and death.

There is so much to learn about HIV and AIDS, and The Body is a great place to learn more. Start with "Understanding HIV/AIDS" (, and then read through questions and answers in this forum to learn more about how HIV is transmitted and how to protect yourself from infection.