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How bad is HIV and AIDS?

About HIV/AIDS. Untreated, HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body. This damage to the immune system makes it harder and harder for the body to fight off infections and some other diseases. Opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that the person has AIDS.

What does HIV and AIDS really mean?

HIV attacks and destroys a type of white blood cell: the CD4 cell, also called the T-cell. Its job is to fight disease. But HIV uses proteins in the cell to make a copy of itself and then kills the cell. This can go on for 10 years or more without you having any symptoms. AIDS is the later stage of HIV infection.

Who was the first person infected with HIV and how were they infected?

The earliest known person with HIV-1 was a man in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, in 1959, according to The Aids Institute. The man's name is not listed, and how he became infected is unknown. Scientists speculate that chimpanzees hunted for meat transferred the virus to humans through infected blood.


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