History of HIV

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. Although HIV is a virus, it's still deadly. If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).Unlike other common viruses that we know, the human body has no ability to get rid of HIV completely. When you have HIV, you have it for life.

HIV is deadly because it attacks the body’s immune system. This makes the body a target for viruses as you don't have the cells to fight off the virus. CD4 cells, commonly called "T Cells," are healthy cells that fight off infections from harming your body. Without them, you'd be at risk.  HIV greatly reduces the number of CD4 cells in your body, making you more likely to get infections or infection-related cancers if HIV is left untreated. As time passes and more healthy cells are destroyed, the body has no ability to fight off the viruses and infections. This stage in HIV is known as AIDS, the last stage of HIV leading to death.

As of 2016, there's no cure for HIV. While millions of dollars have funded research, trials and treatments, we have yet to find a cure. We do have a treatment, known as Antiretroviral Therapy or ART. If taken correctly, men and women with HIV can live much longer than before. It also lowers the risk of them passing the virus to others. As long as the disease is caught early, people on the treatment can live a long life.

Dr. Felix created this HIV infographic in hopes to bring back awareness to HIV and show support for those who work endlessly to find a cure.

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