is HIV and AIDS
is a virus. Illnesses caused by a virus cannot be cured
by antibiotics. (Although medicines may help to reduce
the symptoms) People who have a virus - such as a cold-
usually get better after a few days or weeks because
the white blood cells of the immune system - which are
responsible for fighting diseases - successfully overcomes
a person is infected with HIV the immune system tries
to fight off the virus and does make some antibodies,
but these antibodies are not able to defeat HIV.
The person is said to be HIV Positive. Many people do
not feel ill at all when they are first infected. They
may have no symptoms for a long time. They have not
yet got AIDS.
acts by gradually destroying the immune system of the
infected person. After about 5 to 10 years (although
much earlier in a minority of cases) the immune system
becomes so weak - or 'deficient'- that it cannot fight
off infections as it used to.
the infected person may lose weight and become ill with
diseases like persistent severe diarrhoea, fever,or
pneumonia, or skin cancer. He or she has now developed
At the moment, in spite of much research, there is no
cure for HIV or for AIDS and so, sadly, it is almost
certain that people diagnosed with AIDS will die.
STDs can be completely cured. If anyone thinks that
he or she has been at risk of catching one, or has symptoms
such as painful urination, a discharge, smell, a rash
or sores on their sex organs, the person should go at
once to a doctor or health worker for a checkup and