World AIDS Day 2020: Learn About the Difference Between AIDS & HIV

On World AIDS Day 2020, know the primary difference between AIDS and HIV.

Mamta Raut

December 1, 2020

Trending News

3 min


Every year, December 1 is celebrated as World AIDS Day to raise awareness and educate people about this major health issue. The Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a life-endangering caused due to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). On this day, the medical professionals and Government educate people on how AIDS can be prevented and controlled. However, not many know the real difference between AIDS and HIV. Often people tend to think of them to be same but both AIDS and HIV are completely different from each other. Hence, on World AIDS Day 2020, we have detailed the difference between both the disease.

What is HIV?

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that damages the immune system of the human body. Without proper medical care, the virus affects and kills CD4 cells, which are a type of immune cell also known as T cells. With time ,as the virus grows in the body, a human can face several serious conditions including cancer.

How is HIV transmitted?

The virus can only enter a human body through bodily fluids that include:

  • Breast Milk
  • Vaginal and rectal fluids
  • Semen
  • Blood

HIV cannot be transferred through casual contact, water or air. Since the disease inserts itself in the DNA of the host, the disease becomes a lifelong condition. Medically, a cure for the virus hasn’t been found. However, if treated properly, a person can live with HIV for many years. Without medical care, the virus can develop a serious condition called AIDS.

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What is AIDS?

Acquired immunodeficiency Syndrome is a disease that can develop in a human body due to HIV. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV. Untreated HIV can progress to AIDS within a decade. Just like HIV, there is no cure for AIDS as well. The life expectancy of a person after diagnosis with AIDS is about 3 years. If AIDS develops in a person’s body, it means that their immune system has been severely compromised, which makes them easily vulnerable to a wide range of illness, that can include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Oral thrush
  • cancer

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AIDS is the most advanced stage of infection caused by HIV. The names AIDS and HIV can be confusing as both terms describe the same disease. Many who live with HIV, do not develop AIDS if they start treatment soon after becoming infected. A person with HIV is said to have AIDS only when their immune system has been completely compromised.

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