Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
Macher, Abe M. AIDS Education and Training Centers Program, U.S. Public Health Service, Rockville, Maryland.
Goosby, Eric P. AIDS Education and Training Centers Program, U.S. Public Health Service, Rockville, Maryland.
- HIV infection
- Clinical disease
- Asymptomatic stage
- Early symptomatic disease
- Secondary opportunistic infections
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A viral disease of humans caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which attacks and compromises the body's immune system. Individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) proceed through a spectrum of stages that ultimately lead to the critical end point, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The AIDS disease is characterized by a profound progressive irreversible depletion of T-helper-inducer lymphocytes (CD4+ lymphocytes; Fig. 1), which leads to the onset of multiple and recurrent opportunistic infections by other viruses, fungi, bacteria, and protozoa, as well as various tumors (Kaposi's sarcoma and lymphomas). HIV infection is transmitted by sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, or oral), by blood and blood products, and perinatally from an infected mother to a child (prepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum via breast milk). See also: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); Opportunistic infections
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