What’s the Difference Between HIV and AIDS?
In theِ 1980s, a condition called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, knownِ more widely asِ AIDS, began toِ show itselfِ within particularِ demographics inِ the United States.
Initially referred toِ asِ GRID, orِ “gay-related immune deficiency,” forِ its prevalence among gay men, theِ condition meant a certainِ death forِ patients.
Public misconception caused AIDS andِ the virus foundِ to beِ correlated withِ it, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), toِ beِ confused asِ just oneِ affliction orِ dismissed asِ taboo topics altogether.
HIV, forِ one, isِ a virus, a small infectious agent thatِ multiplies itselfِ byِ taking control ofِ cells insideِ a host.
When anِ individual contracts HIV, anِ initial period ofِ illness occurs withinِ twoِ toِ sixِ weeks asِ the virus attacks theِ cells ofِ the immune system.
After thisِ period, however, theِ virus lies dormant, slowly depleting helper T cells withinِ theِ immune system forِ up toِ 10 years withoutِ causing symptoms.
If HIV isِ diagnosed beforeِ it hasِ developed theِ deadly symptoms ofِ AIDS withinِ a patient, antiretroviral drugs canِ beِ used toِ suppress HIV particles withinِ theِ blood.
While thereِ isِ no knownِ cure forِ the virus, antiretroviral therapy isِ effective inِ managing HIV andِ prolonging itsِ dormant period, allowing patients whoِ areِ HIV-positive toِ survive asِ long asِ noninfected individuals.