HIV vs AIDS: People with HIV don’t always have AIDS

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about HIV and AIDS. People generally have very less and inaccurate knowledge about this topic.

So, we are here with this article to clear all your doubts on HIV AIDS.

There was a time when a diagnosis of HIV or AIDS was considered a death sentence.

Thanks to the development of new treatments, nowadays people with HIV who takes regular antiretroviral therapy (ART) can expect to live a near-normal life span.

Are AIDS and HIV the same?

HIVHuman Immunodeficiency Virus

AIDSAcquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

NO! HIV and AIDS are not the same thing.

HIV is a retrovirus (RNA virus) that causes AIDS (most advanced stage of HIV infection). People with HIV do not always have AIDS.

In simpler words, HIV is a virus and AIDS is the disease.

HIV Progression | Stages of HIV
Stages of HIV | quantity of CD4 cells and HIV

Without treatment, it generally takes about 10 years for someone with HIV to develop AIDS.

What is HIV?

HIV Virus Structure
HIV Virus Structure | wiki

HIV is a retrovirus that damages the immune system, making it easier for people to get sick.

Over time, untreated HIV infects and kills CD4 cells (a type of immune cells, T lymphocyte).

Once HIV is in the immune system, it multiplies inside the CD4 cells, disabling and killing them in the course of the infection. Thus interfering with their normal function.

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What is AIDS?

AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV. AIDS or stage 3 HIV, develops when HIV has caused serious damage to the immune system.

A person is said to have AIDS when their immune system is too weak to fight off infection, and they develop certain defining symptoms and illnesses.

Electron microscopic image revealed the presence of numerous human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) on lymphocyte.
HIV Virus on immune cell

An HIV infection doesn’t necessarily progress to stage 3. In fact, many people with HIV live for years without developing AIDS.

To develop AIDS, a person has to have contracted HIV. But having HIV doesn’t necessarily mean that someone will develop AIDS.
Rakesh Barwar
Rakesh Barwar
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Last DNA. My passion for technology and biotechnology give rise to this awesome site. I write articles that can be easily understood by a majority of people, therefore making biotech simple and interesting!



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