What is HIV?

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infects cells (CD4 or T-helper cells) of the immune system, destroying or impairing their function. Infection with HIV results in the progressive deterioration of the immune system, leading to "immunodeficiency." The immune system is considered deficient when it can no longer fulfil its role of fighting infection and disease. Infections associated with severe immunodeficiency are known as "opportunistic infections" (OI), because they take advantage of a weakened immune system.

What is AIDS?

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a surveillance term defined by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and by the European Centre for the Epidemiological Monitoring of AIDS (EuroHIV). The term AIDS applies to the most advanced stages of HIV infection, defined by the occurrence of any of more than 20 opportunistic infections or HIV-related cancers.
AIDS is also a term for how the disease is being regarded, recognised or handled in the society. Quite often, AIDS is only looked upon from a statistical point of view or from a medical perspective. I have put together the concept “All 13 Perspectives of AIDS” (Troby 2005), which is one way of describing the complexity of AIDS as a phenomenon. See more about this under
All 13 Perspectives of AIDS.