HIV and Aids... What is it?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (say: ih-myoo-nuh-dih-fih-shun-see).
AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV is actually the virus that causes the disease AIDS.
To understand AIDS formation process, we need to know what an Immune System is (say: ih-myoon). Every person has body protective system. This system is made up of some 'good' white blood cells called T lymphocyte (say: lim-fuh-site, T-Cells)
Everyday, the good T-Cells fight off infections, diseases and bacteria that want to invade our body and attack us. The good T-Cells are always defending us. They form our immune system.
Now, lets see how HIV turns into AIDS:
If a healthy person is infected with HIV Virus, the virus makes its way to the white T Cells. The HIV virus starts destroying the T-cells. This can take some time.
Although the person with HIV virus (also called HIV positive) may feel fine, the virus is silently reproducing itself and destroying T-cells. Soon, the good T-cells can no longer battle the bad HIV cells. This means your good T-Cells (immune system) is broken down.
Now, because your immune system is broken, all other diseases, viruses and infections can attack you freely.
Aids is now developed at this point, and the HIV virus lives in the body now. Your body has lost the power to fight invaders and diseases that attack you.
When HIV infection gets worse or turns into the disease called AIDS, life really changes. The person may need to spend a lot of time in bed or in the hospital because of serious illnesses. He or she may feel very tired or weak most of the time. The person also might lose weight.