What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?

What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
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Common people are usually confused between HIV and AIDS, that both are the same. But there is the difference between HIV and AIDS. So first let’s see the full form. The full form of HIV is Human Immunodeficiency Virus and AIDS is Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome.


So HIV is a virus that affects our immune system. HIV name suggested only human is affected by the virus.

What Happens when HIV enters the body?

Once any human gets infected with this virus, it attacks our immune system cells known as CD4 cells. We get many viral infections during our life but our immune system clears or kills most of the virus from our body but can’t clear HIV. So HIV will live lifelong in the body of an infected person and gradually deteriorates the immune system.

AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome:

At some stage, HIV may cause serious damage to the immune system of the infected person. A person acquires many other infections which are usually opportunistic infections like tuberculosis, pneumonia, and many others because of the weakened immune system. This acquired complex condition is known as AIDS. These conditions vary from person to person. Because of weakened immunity system persons may also develop certain types of cancer.

Points to understand the difference between HIV and AIDS:

So it is clear what is HIV and AIDS. Here are some points to understand the difference between HIV and AIDS.
  • HIV is a virus and AIDS is a condition caused by HIV. So, a person can have an infection of HIV without AIDS. But anyone who is diagnosed with AIDS has already contracted or you can say infected with HIV. People with HIV may be in asymptomatic and career stages.
  • HIV lives lifelong in the body of an infected person but HIV may not lead to AIDS if proper care and antiretroviral medicine that is HIV medicine are taken. Nowadays HIV treatment is more advanced. It reduces the risk of developing AIDS and life expectancy has increased more. But if anyone who is infected with HIV doesn’t take antiretroviral medicine, he or she may develop AIDS. That usually takes 10 to 15 years of a long time according to WHO that is World Health Organization data.

Treatment and life expectancy is different for HIV and AIDS:

With today’s advanced treatment for HIV infection, one can live long with HIV without developing AIDS. One can have a long and good life expectancy with proper treatment and sustained undetectable viral load that lowers the risk of transmitting the virus to a sexual partner. Again good life expectancy depends on a very low amount of HIV and stages of HIV infection.
But when HIV develops into AIDS life expectancy drops significantly. That person can get many infections and diseases such as cancer. At this point, it is difficult to repair the immune system. But again with proper antiretroviral therapy, many people having AIDS can live a long life.

Also read: Can mosquitoes transmit HIV?
This is all about the article. I hope you have enjoyed reading. Please share if you like and if you have any queries please ask in the comment section.

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