HIV AIDS Center

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) kills or damages the body's immune system. By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body's ability to fight the organisms that cause disease. As the immune system weakens, the body is at risk of getting life-threatening infections and cancers. Once a person has the virus, it stays inside the body for life. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by HIV. HIV is often transmitted through sexual contact or through contact with an infected...