(Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
HIV and AIDS – Definition
HIV is a virus that attacks white blood cells called helper T cells (CD4). These cells are part of the immune system. They fight off infections and disease. As a result, an HIV infection can leave you vulnerable to severe illnesses.
AIDS is a late stage of HIV infection. It reflects severe damage to the immune system. One or more opportunistic infections will also likely exist. This is a type of infection that only occurs in people with compromised immune systems.