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HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)

is the virus that causes AIDS. It affects a person’s immune system and reduces its ability to fight infection

What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?

HIV is the virus and AIDS is the end point of an HIV infection. AIDS is defined by a number of illnesses that affect a person who has the HIV virus. These illnesses usually happen after a person has been infected with HIV for a number of years.

How does someone become infected with HIV?

People can be infected after having unprotected sexual intercourse or sharing injecting equipment with someone who has the virus. HIV is contained in body fluids such as blood, semen, and vaginal secretions.  It is generally believed that HIV is not transmitted by oral sex.

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