The HIV virus damages the body’s defences, also known as the immune system. Without treatment, this almost always leads to severe illnesses after some time, which is known as AIDS. HIV therapy can prevent AIDS. Today, HIV-positive people can live a good and long life.
Key facts about HIV/AIDS at a glance
- You can protect yourself from HIV by practicing safer sex and safer use.
- HIV cannot be transmitted in daily life. It is most commonly transmitted during sex and drug use without protective measures. HIV therapy involves taking anti-HIV medication that suppresses the virus in the body. HIV can then no longer be transmitted during sex. Mother-to-child transmissions can also be prevented this way.
- Shortly after an HIV infection, most people experience flu-like symptoms. Thereafter, the infection often remains asymptomatic for a long time, although HIV continues to damage the body if left untreated.
- An HIV test helps you find out whether you are HIV-positive.
- HIV is well treatable: HIV-positive people usually take 1-2 pills a day and go for a check-up every three months. That way, they can live a good and long life.
- A lot of research is being done into HIV. Although there is no cure yet, the treatment options are continuously improved.
AIDS is not the same as HIV.
HIV is an acronym and means “human immunodeficiency virus”. HIV damages the body’s defences, also known as the immune system.
Without treatment, the body is no longer able to fight pathogens entering the body, such as bacteria, fungi or viruses. In the worst case, certain life-threatening conditions, such as severe pneumonia, can develop. This is known as AIDS.
AIDS is also an acronym and means “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome”.
Anti-HIV medication suppresses the virus in the body, preventing AIDS from breaking out. That way, HIV-positive people can live a good and long life.
“Thanks to HIV therapy, HIV-positive people can live a good and long life. Now we only need to get the prejudices against us out of people’s minds and put an end to stigmatisation.”
Heike Gronski, Consultant specialising in “Living with HIV” of Deutsche Aidshilfe