Surgery

New tool aids patients in selecting a transplant center

A new website developed by researchers at Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI) and the University of Minnesota (UMN) is making it easier for organ transplant candidates to choose which transplant center is right ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

White House readying emergency coronavirus budget request

The White House is readying an urgent budget request to address the deadly coronavirus outbreak whose rapid spread is spooking financial markets and restricting international travel.

Health

Patients seeking assisted dying confront a range of barriers

One in every five Americans now lives in a state with legal access to a medically assisted death. In theory, assisted dying laws allow patients with a terminal prognosis to hasten the end of their life, once their suffering ...

Medical research

Scientists identify new human genes controlling HIV infection

Viruses are parasites. The only way they can grow is by hijacking their hosts. When they infect a human host, viruses use human proteins to multiply and modify the human cells to sustain the infection. At the same time, the ...

Medical research

Drug cocktail holds promise for spinal injuries

The early-stage research in rats, by a group of scientists led by Imperial College London, revealed two existing medications can boost the body's own repair machinery, by triggering the release of stem cells from the bone ...

Health

Want to live longer? Stay in school, study suggests

Life expectancy in the United States has been in decline for the first time in decades, and public health officials have identified a litany of potential causes, including inaccessible health care, rising drug addiction and ...

Medications

New study supports the safety of varenicline

A real-world study of over 600,000 adult participants without a history of depression has found that the stop-smoking medication varenicline (marketed as Chantix in the US and Champix elsewhere in the world) does not appear ...

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Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The illness interferes with the immune system making people with AIDS much more likely to get infections, including opportunistic infections and tumors that do not affect people with working immune systems. This susceptibility gets worse as the disease continues.

HIV is transmitted in many ways, such as anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. It can be transmitted by any contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid that has the virus in it, such as the blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid, or breast milk from an infected person.

The virus and disease are often referred to together as HIV/AIDS. The disease is a major health problem in many parts of the world, and is considered a pandemic, a disease outbreak that is not only present over a large area but is actively spreading. In 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there are 33.4 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, with 2.7 million new HIV infections per year and 2.0 million annual deaths due to AIDS. In 2007, UNAIDS estimated: 33.2 million people worldwide were HIV positive; AIDS killed 2.1 million people in the course of that year, including 330,000 children, and 76% of those deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. According to UNAIDS 2009 report, worldwide some 60 million people have been infected since the start of the pandemic, with some 25 million deaths, and 14 million orphaned children in southern Africa alone.

Genetic research indicates that HIV originated in west-central Africa during the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. AIDS was first recognized by the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1981 and its cause, HIV, identified in the early 1980s.

Although treatments for HIV/AIDS can slow the course of the disease, there is no known cure or HIV vaccine. Antiretroviral treatment reduces both the deaths and new infections from HIV/AIDS, but these drugs are expensive and the medications are not available in all countries. Due to the difficulty in treating HIV infection, preventing infection is a key aim in controlling the AIDS pandemic, with health organizations promoting safe sex and needle-exchange programmes in attempts to slow the spread of the virus.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA