Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

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AIDS is clinical term that relates to having very low CD4 counts, often with substantial weight loss, and the occurrence of severe opportunistic infections that can lead to death if HIV antiretroviral treatment is not taken daily. Having HIV does not mean you have AIDS, but having AIDS means that your have uncontrolled HIV which has not been treated with daily HIV antiretroviral treatment, or immune (CD4) counts are very low (if treatment was delayed). Taking a combination of HIV antiretroviral (ARV) treatments daily, as prescribed by your doctor, prevents the progression to AIDS. AIDS conditions can be treated with other drugs, but the best treatment for preventing HIV from progressing to AIDS is HIV antiretroviral treatment and being linked to regular health-care monitoring. However, HIV ARV treatment does not cure or completely eradicate HIV from the body.