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What is HIV/AIDS?

The acquired immune deficiency syndrome, better known by its acronym AIDS, is the name of a group of symptoms resulting from the destruction of immune system cells by a retrovirus. AIDS is the final stage of infection by this virus and eventually the infected organism die as a result of opportunistic diseases.

There are several retrovirus that causes AIDS, each infecting a particular species. The best known of these is the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infecting humans. Other viruses are, among others, SIV infecting monkeys and FIV for cats.

Three modes of transmission heve been observed:
  • Through sex, which is the principal;
  • Through blood: which concern particularly injecting drug users, hemophiliacs, transfusion recipients and health professionals;
  • From mother to child, which can occur in utero in the last weeks of pregnancy, during childbirth and breastfeeding.

The red ribbon, the symbol of the fight against AIDS.