AIDS

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the last stage of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). AIDS weakens the immune system and increases a person's risk of developing serious illnesses such as certain cancers, opportunistic diseases, and neurological disorders.

AIDS is spread through contaminated blood, specifically through sexual contact or shared needles. Symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, diarrhea, fever, night sweats, thrush (infection in the mouth and throat), and swollen lymph nodes of the neck, armpits, and groin.

Last Updated: April 10, 2009

Author: Maria G. Essig, MS, ELS

Medical Review: Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine

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