Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a medical diagnosis by a physician of a set of symptoms or conditions based on specific criteria established by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). These criteria include infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and either the presence of one or more defined AIDS indicator diseases or other indicators of a suppressed immune system based on certain blood tests (CD4+ counts). The “opportunistic” diseases associated with AIDS occur following the depression of an individual’s immune system, allowing susceptibility to unusual infections or malignancies.
AIDS, the end stage of HIV disease, is caused by the infection and spread of HIV within the body. A positive HIV test result alone does not mean that a person has AIDS, only that HIV infection has occurred. HIV destroys CD4+ T blood cells which are crucial to the normal function of the human immune system. Most HIV-infected...
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