AIDS stands for- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
HIV stands for- Human Immunedeficiency Virus
AIDS starts out as a virus called HIV. The virus doesn't always turn in to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome but when it does it turns into a disease that attacks the Immune System. At first the white blood cells can fight off the duplicating virus but after a while they become out numbered. This happens when the Immune System becomes too weak to produce any more white blood cells. At this time the Immune System starts getting weaker and weaker and the person begins to die. A person suffering from AIDS can live up to 20 years or die in as short as 6 months. AIDS was originally called T-lymphotropic virus.
AIDS itself isn't really the killer. The diseases or bacteria that get in your body after the AIDS virus attacks are the really dangerous things. The two most serious diseases that people often get if they are infected with AIDS are Pneumonia and Kaposi's Sarcoma. Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs called Pneumocystic Carinii. This enables you to get enough oxygen in the lungs . If you are suffering from AIDS this is a greater risk to you than someone who isn't infected. People often die from lack of oxygen. Kaposi's Sarcoma is a form of skin cancer. It is very likely that the people infected will die.
In 1997 5.8 million new HIV infections were estimated to have occurred around the globe. In 1998 there were 11 million new HIV infected people. The total amount of AIDS and HIV infected people throughout the world is now up to about 33 million people. 22 million of those 33 million people live in Africa where AIDS originated.
AIDS is one of the greatest problems in modern medicine today. The medical experts call AIDS the "health threat of the century." Out of the people who have been diagnosed with AIDS almost half have died. Doctors say that the deaths are sure to increase. Some people may have the AIDS virus and not even know it; this is another way that AIDS is spread. AIDS can not be caught by casual contact with an infected person.
We already know that AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Acquired means to get for example you acquire or get a disease. Syndrome is a pattern or a set of problems caused by the disease or infection. Immune Deficiency is a lot harder to explain. In your body you have a system called the Immune System. This system fights off viruses. If the virus wins, well, that's where the Deficiency comes in. After the virus wins your immune system breaks and becomes Deficient, which means it does not work as well as a healthy Immune System. If the Immune system is Deficient then it is open to all sorts of harmful diseases. This makes it a lot easier for the victim to die.
There are three main kinds of the AIDS virus and those are HIV-1 which researchers also call M, N, and O. M is the variety which is spread all across the globe. N and O are only in Western Equatorial Africa. Which leads them to believe that Congo is the main source of this disease. AIDS itself isn't the real killer but the viruses you can get after you are infected with the virus like cancer.
AIDS and HIV are not the same thing. HIV is only a virus and AIDS is a syndrome. Not everyone that has HIV gets AIDS. The AIDS can sit in blood cells for a long time before making you sick.