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HIV And AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

AIDS was initially recognized in 1981, since then it has become a global pandemic with as many as ten million people infected with HIV worldwide. From 1981-1986 over 38,000 Americans were diagnosed with AIDS. Since then the number of cases has more than tripled. The HIV virus attacks the body??¦s immune system making HIV-infected individuals vulnerable to opportunistic infections, cancers and neurological disorders. The virus, which causes AIDS primarily, attacks white blood cells called T-4 helper cells that are part of the body??¦s internal defense against disease.

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The virus may also have lasting affects on the central nervous system. An infected person??¦s immune system responds by developing antibodies to fight off the virus. The body??¦s ability to produce disease-fighting antibodies eventually becomes limited in HIV-infected persons as the virus reproduces and destroys the body??¦s T-4 cells. HIV infection may lead to diseases and illnesses, which can take many forms. The problems associated with HIV infection range from the complete absence of symptoms, to mild illness, to devastating neurological disorders, to conditions, which can lead to death.

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