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What is AIDS?

AIDS is a disease caused by the HIV. AIDS and HIV are detected by means of a blood test, which measures the level of antibodies in a person's system. If there are antibodies that the body releases to fight HIV, then it would mean that a person is infected with HIV. While being infected with HIV is not the same as having AIDS, these two are linked up. A person can pass many years without showing any symptoms of the infection. AIDS is the end result of an infection of HIV, when HIV has damaged the immune system sufficient for AIDS to develop. Therefore, a person cannot "contract" aids, but rather, contracts HIV. HIV spreads by means of sexual intercourse with an infected person, sharing of syringes and needles, blood transfusions of improperly screened blood and from a mother to her baby. There is no specific cure for AIDS, though many people believe there is. There are various medications, mainly anti-retroviral drug combinations, which prolong the time between the onset of HIV infection and the onset of AIDS. If taken at the right time, these medications can prevent the onset of AIDS in a person infected with HIV. As a matter of fact, sometimes, the medication can prevent the onset of AIDS throughout the patient’s lifetime. The only way to be safe from this disease is to prevent HIV infection by avoiding sexual intercourse with infected people, by not sharing needles and syringes and by choosing non-blood alternatives over blood transfusions.

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