Definitions HIV/AIDS

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HIV Defined

  • Human – human to human transmission, mosquitos cannot transmit the virus.
  • Immuno-deficiency – the immune system is the system of the body which fights infection; deficiency means a lack or not enough so the term may be restated as a weakened immune system.
  • Virus – the type of germ.

HIV is the virus which causes AIDS; it is the germ that is passed on and transmitted to others.

AIDS defined

  • Acquired – everyone gets it from someone, it is not transmitted through the DNA material so that an unborn baby has a very good chance of not contracting the virus from its mother.
  • Immune Deficiency - A weakened immune system.
  • Syndrome – a syndrome is a group of signs, symptoms or illnesses. For example losing more than 10% of your body weight in a short time without trying; diarrhoea on and off for a month or fever on and off for a month. These are not illnesses in themselves but indicate that something is going on with the body and an HIV test should be administered. The signs and symptoms themselves do not necessarily mean that a person has HIV, but that their immune system has been compromised. (There are many causes for a weakened immune system such as malnutrition or recovering from a severe illness.)