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HIV

Human Immune Virus is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections/diseases. It is spread by contact with certain HIV-positive body fluids, most commonly during unprotected sex (sex without a condom or HIV medicine to prevent or treat HIV), or by sharing drug injection equipment.

HIV can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) if left untreated.

The human body cannot rid itself of HIV and there is no effective cure for HIV. So, once you've got HIV you've got it for life.

However, people with HIV can live long and healthy lives and prevent HIV transmission to their sexual partners by taking HIV medicine (called antiretroviral therapy/ART). Additionally, effective methods exist to prevent sexual or drug use of HIV, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

Treatment should start as soon as possible after an HIV diagnosis, irrespective of viral load. HIV is mainly treated with antiretroviral therapy, a combination of daily medicines that stop the virus from reproducing. This helps to protect cells with CD4, keeping the immune system strong enough to combat disease. Antiretroviral therapy helps to prevent HIV from developing into AIDS. This is also able to reduce the risk of HIV infection to others. The viral load would be "undetectable" because therapy is successful. The person also has HIV but the infection is not evident in test tests. Yet the virus remains in the body. So if he starts taking antiretroviral therapy, the viral load will be incrusted the HIV can again start attacking CD4 cells.

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