HIV And AIDS: What's The Difference?

What is the difference between being HIV positive and having AIDS. What are the signs and symptoms and how do I prevent or protect myself from getting it.

What is HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)? HIV simply means that you have tested positive for the virus. It does not become AIDS usually for ten years or until immune system problems appear. Although you may feel well you are still infected with a virus that is fatal and you can pass this disease on to other through several means. There is medication to help slow the progression of the disease but there is no medication to eradicate this disease. Those will be listed below. For more in-depth information please contact the CDC.

How is HIV transmitted? It is transmitted through body fluids.

· Semen, Vaginal Fluids, Blood, Breast milk of infected mother, other body fluids containing blood, Cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and the spinal cord and Amniotic fluid surrounding an unborn child of an infected mother.

What situations would have me in contacted with these body fluids?

· Healthcare professionals, IV drug users, Blood transfusions, Sexual relations, all forms (vaginal, oral, anal etc.), Any open cuts or sores that those fluids could enter the body, Mucous membranes, and Infected pregnant women transferring to the infant or health care worker.

What are the most common symptoms of HIV infections? These are the most common symptoms, but they may also be signs of other diseases. The only way to know for sure is to be tested.

· Unknown reason weight loss, night sweats and unknown reason for fever, Malaise and fatigue for unknown reasons, Enlarged and swollen lymph nodes through out the body, Chronic diarrhea, Unusual white spots or discolorations in the mouth, Pneumonitis, and Dark spots that appear on the body for unknown reasons.

Can I get HIV or AIDS by socialization?

You cannot get HIV or AIDS from normal daily contact with an infected person. You will not catch it from drinking fountains, cups, glasses, plates, dry cheek kissing, shaking hand or normal interaction in the workplace or school setting. HIV is not an airborne virus.

However, open mouth kissing and sharing of body fluids with an open area, cut, scrape or abrasion is possible if you exchange those body fluids such as semen, vaginal secretions or blood. Breast-feeding infected mothers milk is also a transmitter.

How do I protect myself against HIV?

· Using the appropriate guidelines for prevention. Abstinence is a start, no sharing of needles, you and the person you plan on having sexual relations with are both tested, using latex condoms every time you have sexual relations although this does not protect you from other STDs. Protecting yourself is to be armed with this information, the more information on how it is spread are also guidelines of how not to come in contact with an infected person.


Simply explained in layman's terms HIV is the actual infection itself, AIDS is what happens once the immune system is compromised leading the way to other infections that may seem harmless enough to a normal healthy adult or child, but become life threatening to a person with AID's. This is caused by the weakened immune systems inability to fight off any infection.

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