What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV makes copies of itself by slowly killing a type of immune cell, the CD4 cell. Over time, this weakens the immune system. 

Opportunistic Infections

As a result, a person may develop a serious disease called "opportunistic infections." These occur as a sign of later-stage HIV disease called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). A person with HIV can also be diagnosed with AIDS when the number of their CD4 cells falls to 200 or below. HIV treatments can delay the onset of AIDS for many years.

Show All Answers

1. What is HIV?
2. How is HIV passed from person to person?
3. What is AIDS?
4. What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
5. Do condoms provide 100% protection from HIV?
6. Should I get tested?
7. How do HIV tests work?
8. What are the different HIV screening tests available in the United States?
9. How long after a possible exposure should I wait to get tested for HIV?
10. If I test HIV negative, does that mean that my sex partner is HIV negative also?
11. Why should I be tested for HIV?