Differences between HIV and AIDS

Today, it is very common to hear about HIV and AIDS. Thus, many people often confuse these terms, since these terms are closely related to each other because a person can have HIV and not develop AIDS. Therefore, having HIV is not the same as having AIDS.

Therefore, below we will present a clear description of HIV and AIDS, so that you can know in detail what each of these diseases is about and thus avoid possible confusion.


Basically, HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and as such, it is a virus that affects immune cells, responsible for protecting the body from disease. In this way, by attacking the immune system, it weakens it and consequently, the body’s ability to defend itself against different diseases or infections is reduced.

In this order of ideas, this virus enters the body through the bloodstream and since it cannot survive independently, it must do so inside a cell, for which it invades and destroys CD4 lymphocytes, a subgroup of blood cells white, responsible for controlling the functioning of the entire immune system.

On the other hand, HIV has different routes of transmission, the most common being transmission through different bodily secretions such as blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid and vaginal secretion, so infection is very common if you have sexual contact without proper protection (condom). Another form of transmission is by direct route from mother to child, either during pregnancy, at the time of childbirth or during lactation.

In addition to this, HIV can be transmitted by sharing needles, syringes, razors, pliers, piercings, tattoo needles or any other sharp or sharp object that, in general, contains the blood of an infected person. In any case, HIV prevention is only possible by correctly using a condom from the beginning and until the end of all sexual intercourse, avoiding sharing injection equipment or other sharp or pointed instruments that are not sterilized, and avoiding breastfeeding the baby if receives medication to prevent the multiplication of the virus, which reduces the concentration of the latter in the body in the case of infected mothers.


It can be said that AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which is the advanced stage of the infection caused by HIV. Therefore, AIDS appears when HIV weakens the body’s defenses to the point of predisposing people to develop so-called opportunistic diseases such as tumors or infections caused by parasites, fungi, bacteria, and viruses that take advantage of the drop in defenses to attack the body.

Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for AIDS, since it is a stage of the disease caused by HIV, however, the patient who develops AIDS is usually administered antiretroviral treatment to recover the body’s defenses and be able to lead a relatively normal life. . It should be noted that its diagnosis is exclusively clinical, since, as has been said, you can have HIV without developing AIDS. For this reason, a specific diagnosis is made by counting CD4 lymphocytes to determine the state and progression of the disease.

Finally, as can be seen from the context, although HIV and AIDS are closely linked, they are not the same thing. Therefore, these terms should not be used as synonyms. Consequently, the differences between HIV and AIDS are:

It is the human immunodeficiency virus. It is the disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus.
It is the carrier stage of the virus where the person can lead a normal life receiving antiretroviral treatment to prevent the multiplication of the virus. It is the stage where the immune system is affected to the point of not having defenses against so-called opportunistic diseases.
You may or may not have symptoms. It presents symptoms associated with opportunistic diseases.
HIV is transmitted through body fluids such as semen, blood, vaginal secretions, or breast milk. AIDS is not transmitted, since it is a stage of deterioration of the immune system caused by HIV.

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