HIV vs AIDS - They are different !

Most of the people often consider both HIV and AIDS as same thing while there is a basic difference among them. HIV is a virus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus. AIDS is the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, which is a disease caused by HIV. It is possible to get infected with HIV and yet live a complete life without AIDS. Before we proceed further with the difference between HIV and AIDS, it is important to know both of them.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)

HIV is a virus which is known to affect only humans. That is why it is named so. It can affect the immune system of a human being and destroys it to the level where human body can't resist from normal diseases and looses its capability to fight with normal bacteria. Being HIV positive does not mean that mean that you will definitely face such situation.

AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)

When the HIV virus starts affecting and destroying the immune system of a human being then its is called AIDS. Our immune system protects us from different bacteria/ viruses by generating antibodies and thus saves us from different diseases. AIDS don't have its own symptoms as it depends on the other diseases that affect a person and last longer due to inability of the immune system.

After reading the above definitions you must have understood the fact that HIV and AIDS are different. HIV is a virus and AIDS is the disease/condition caused by that virus. It is not always necessary for a HIV positive person to suffer from AIDS.

HIV infection without AIDS

A a person is infected with HIV then this virus can't be removed from our body. Neither our immune system can flush it out nor any any medicine can kill it. But still one can live for years without getting AIDS. Today the medical science has developed so much that AIDS can be prevented for years if it is known on time that a person is HIV positive. Even some HIV positive people have lived their complete life without AIDS.

One of the important part of our Immune system are CD4 Cells, also known as T Cells, which are a type of white blood cells. These CD4 cells are able to detect any foreign bacteria or virus in our blood stream and send signals to activate the immune system. In a normal person the count of these CD4 cells range from 500 cells/mm3 to 1,600 cells/mm3. When a person is found HIV positive, then doctors usually prescribe him some health supplements to empower his/her immune system. If the CD4 cell count does not go below this range of 500 to 1600 cells/mm3 then it means that person is not suffering from AIDS. But if the CD4 cell count goes below 200 cells/mm3 the it is called AIDS.

If you have ever had unprotected sex then it is better get tested for HIV. Knowing that you are HIV positive, not only saves you from getting AIDS but can also protect others from HIV infection.
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