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What is AIDS and is there a difference between AIDS and HIV?

Aids vs HIV

Whilst HIV and AIDS are very much interlinked they are two very different diagnoses.

The difference between AIDS and HIV

  • HIV is a virus, one that the human body is never able to combat and completely rid itself of. The virus can lead to an infection.
  • AIDS is a condition brought about when the HIV infection has developed to a point where it has caused severe damage to a person immune system.
  • You can have an HIV infection without having aids. With today’s advancement in HIV medication, a person can live a long and healthy life without the infection developing into AIDS.

What is AIDS?

  • AIDS can be classified as a syndrome or condition that may be developed from HIV once the virus has caused major damage to the immune system.
  • Whilst it is true that a person diagnosed with HIV may not have AIDS a person diagnosed with AIDS would have most certainly have been infected with the HIV virus.
  • Even if an HIV positive person never develops AIDS the virus never goes away as there is no known cure for it.
  • AIDS is the abbreviation for “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome”.
  • AIDS is a complex syndrome and affects people in different ways. Thus, the symptoms will vary from one person to another.
  • AIDS symptoms are directly related to the infection the disease causes. These infections are most commonly certain forms of cancer, tuberculosis and pneumonia being some of the most common ones.
  • AIDS is the final stage of the HIV infection and various factors are tested for in the determination of this stage. These factors include the investigation for:
    • CD4 Cell count of two hundred or lower.
    • The appearance of opportunistic infections such as various bacteria, fungi and viruses that would not compromise a healthy person’s immune system.


The life expectancy of a person that has developed AIDS is a lot less than when the disease was still in the HIV latency stage.  With proper care and treatment, the condition can be managed.