The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV is a viral infection that is not curable; however, HIV can be treated to help a person manage HIV-related symptoms. Following exposure to the HIV, HIV infection occurs when HIV germs infect the T-helper lymphocytes (CD4), or T cells in the immune system, which protects the body against infections and disease. The HIV reproduces by infecting CD4+ cells, which may result in a compromise in immune system functioning.

This entry reviews the stages of HIV infection and forms of transmission. Next, it examines HIV diagnoses by gender, race, and age. The entry concludes by discussing testing, counseling, and prevention.

Stages of HIV Infection

Acute HIV infection, also known as acute retroviral syndrome ...

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