Difference Between AIDS and HIV
AIDS and HIV :
HIV and AIDS are two words that often go together and two words that evoque a mortal fear in most people. Some even assume that these two terms belong in the same word, but in reality, HIV and AIDS are two different conditions which often go together, yet are two separate entities.
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, a virus which directly affects the immunity system, making one vulnerable to illness. It is transmitted from person to person by direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream. It often occurs due to the exchange of bodily fluid such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid and even breast milk as these are the fluids known to be carrying the highest percentage of the HIV virus in the body of an HIV affected person. Usually, unprotected sex is the main means of transmitting the virus but it is a fact that is not known to many that even an HIV affected person can have protected sex without the danger of transmitting the disease to another non-affected person.
The HIV virus enters the blood cells and destroys the white blood cells that are also called the T Lymphocytes which are the protector cells that are responsible for fighting the germs, bacterias and other diseases that affect the human body. Therefore overtime, when these white blood cells are being increasingly destroyed by the virus, the human body is unable to ward off infections that it encounters and becomes vulnerable to diseases very easily as the body’s immunity begins to drop drastically.
AIDS which stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome occurs at the later stages of HIV as the immune system begins to drop at a rapid rate as a large part of the white blood cells have been destroyed by the HIV virus. A healthy person usually has a white blood cell count of 600-1200 and when this count drops to about 200, a person with HIV is diagnosed with AIDS. At this point, it is considered that a person’s immune system is so severely weakened and that he or she no longer has the strength to battle out certain kinds of infections and cancers. This is the point when the person may contract a serious infection and he or she is unable to recover from it at all. If an HIV diagnosed patient is found to be affected with an opportunistic infection such as PCP, which is a type of pneumonia, Kaposi sarcoma, wasting syndrome, memory impairment or tuberculosis, he or she is usually diagnosed to be having AIDS. An HIV positive person may take from 2 years up to 10-15 years to develop AIDS if left untreated.
Difference between HIV and AIDS
HIV is a virus whereas AIDS is the advanced stage of HIV.
A person who has been diagnosed with AIDS is always considered to have AIDS even though the white blood cell count (CD4) increases. AIDS diagnosis is not reversible. But if received timely and proper medication and care HIV positive person will never develop AIDS.
But in some cases, an HIV positive person may not even manifest symptoms even when he or she has reached the AIDS stage. The virus will continue to silently grow inside and this is considered as extremely dangerous as this person may unknowingly transmit the disease to others around him.