What is AIDS?
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
What causes AIDS?
AIDS is a collection of illnesses caused by a virus called human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. HIV is found in the blood, semen and vaginal secretions of an infected person.
How is AIDS spread?
The HIV virus is mainly spread by unprotected sex and sharing needles with an HIV-infected person. Babies born to HIV-infected women may become infected. You do not become infected by casual contact or insects.
How many people have HIV?
548,102 AIDS cases in the United States have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC lists 343,000 AIDS deaths.
Worldwide, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS estimates 21.8 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. Of that number, the majority (21 million) are adults, and women are approximately 42 percent.
During 1995, HIV-associated illnesses caused the deaths of 1.3 million people, including 300,000 children under age 5. Since the beginning of the global AIDS epidemic, over 9 million children under age 15 have lost their mothers to HIV/AIDS.
How is HIV/AIDS diagnosed?
A test for the HIV antibody shows who is infected with the virus.
What is the prognosis for people with HIV/AIDS?
There is no cure for AIDS, however the FDA has approved the use of certain prescription drugs such as AZT in the treatment of AIDS-related illnesses.
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention