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- Created 2012-02-14
Human immunodeficiency virus infection
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
) is a
of the human
caused by infection with
human immunodeficiency virus
(HIV). During the initial infection, a person may experience a brief period of
. This is typically followed by a prolonged period without symptoms. As the illness progresses, it interferes more and more with the immune system, making the person much more likely to get infections, including
that do not usually affect people who have working immune systems.
primarily via unprotected
from mother to child
during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. Some bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit HIV. Prevention of HIV infection, primarily through
s, is a key strategy to control the spread of the disease.
There is no cure or
can slow the course of the disease and may lead to a near-normal life expectancy. While antiretroviral treatment reduces the risk of death and complications from the disease, these medications are expensive and may be associated with side effects.
indicates that HIV originated in west-central Africa during the early twentieth century. AIDS was first recognized by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) in 1981 and its cause—HIV infection—was identified in the early part of the decade. Since its discovery, AIDS has caused nearly 30 million deaths (as of 2009). As of 2010, approximately 34 million people are living with HIV globally. AIDS is considered a
—a disease outbreak which is present over a large area and is actively spreading.
HIV/AIDS has had a great impact on society, both as an illness and as a source of discrimination. The disease also has significant economic impacts. There are many misconceptions about HIV/AIDS such as the belief that it can be transmitted by casual non-sexual contact. The disease has also become subject to many controversies involving religion.
from Wikipedia (last updated: 18 May), licensed under
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