Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

What Are HIV and AIDS?

What Is HIV?

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system. HIV destroys CD4 cells (also called T cells). These cells fight germs and help prevent some kinds of cancers. In HIV, the immune system becomes weaker, making it harder for the body to fight off infections and some kinds of cancers.

Most people who get treatment early and take medicines for HIV can live long, healthy lives.

What Is AIDS?

AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) can happen after someone has had HIV for many years. In AIDS, the immune system gets very weak. So, serious infections and health problems can happen.

Medicines can help prevent HIV from developing into AIDS.

What Do Doctors Do?

Health care providers usually can tell if someone has HIV through blood tests. People who do are said to be "HIV positive."

If the immune system becomes very weak, someone is said to have AIDS.

How Are HIV and AIDS Treated?

Medicines can help people with HIV stay healthy. They can also prevent HIV from becoming AIDS. People with HIV and AIDS usually need to take a few different medicines. The medicines must be taken exactly as prescribed.

Regular blood tests will check to see how well the medicines are working.

Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
Date Reviewed: 01-01-2022

Lea este articulo en Español

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.