If you are experiencing a medical emergency please dial 911 immediately
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system, the body's natural defense system. Without a strong immune system, the body has trouble fighting off disease.
HIV is treated with medicines that slow or stop the damage to the immune system. If it's not treated, in time HIV will cause AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
Last Revised: October 9, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
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