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The term AIDS comes from the acronym of the English expression Thecquired immuno defficiency ssyndrome, that means Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Although AIDS is commonly identified as a disease, it is actually a syndrome.

The word syndrome characterizes a set of signs and symptoms that can be produced by more than one cause.

It is caused by a group of viruses called HIVthat invade certain cells - some types of white blood cells - responsible for defending the body.

Thus, the virus multiplies within these cells compromising the functioning of the human immune system, preventing it from performing its task properly, which is to protect it from external aggressions (by bacteria, other viruses, parasites and even cancer cells). ).

With the progressive damage to the immune system, the human body becomes increasingly susceptible to certain infections and tumors, known as opportunistic diseases, which eventually lead to death.

The acute phase (after 1 to 4 weeks of exposure and contamination) of the infection usually manifests as a flu-like condition (fever, malaise and body aches) that may be accompanied by red spots on the body and generalized adenopathy. (in different places in the body). The acute phase usually lasts from 1 to 2 weeks and can be confused with other viruses (influenza, mononucleosis, etc.) as well as unnoticed.

Acute phase symptoms are therefore nonspecific and common to many diseases, and do not in themselves allow the diagnosis of HIV infection, which can only be confirmed by the anti-HIV test, which should be done after 90 days (3 months). date of exposure or likely contamination.

The first cases of AIDS appeared in 1979 in the United States. In Brazil, the disease was first registered in 1982.


AIDS, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, HIV-disease.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), with 2 known subtypes: HIV-1 and HIV-2.

Opportunistic diseases, such as miliary tuberculosis and certain pneumonias, some types of tumors, such as certain lymphomas and Kaposi's sarcoma. Neurological disorders.

  • HIV passes from one person to another through blood and fluids contaminated with blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk.
    Transmission may occur in vaginal, oral and anal sex.
  • Using syringes and needles contaminated by the virus.
  • Social kisses (dry, closed-mouth kisses) are safe (zero risk) for virus transmission, even if one person has HIV. The same is true of handshakes and hugs.
  • Open-mouth kisses are considered low risk for possible HIV transmission.
  • Mothers with HIV may pass it on to their child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
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From 3 to 10 (or more) years between contamination and onset of symptoms suggestive of AIDS.

There is currently no effective vaccine to prevent HIV infection. There are drugs that inhibit HIV replication, which should be used in combination, but there is still no talk of curing AIDS.

Opportunistic diseases are mostly treatable, but there is a need for continuous use of medications to control these manifestations.


In sexual transmission, safe sex is recommended: monogamous relationship with proven HIV-negative partner, condom use. It should be noted that condom use, while providing excellent protection, does not provide absolute protection (breakage, perforation, misuse, etc.).

  • In blood transmission, caution is advised in the management of blood (use of disposable syringes, requiring all blood to be transfused to be previously tested for HIV, wearing gloves when handling potentially contaminated wounds or liquids).
  • Avoid shared use of sharp objects such as razors, razors and cuticle pliers.
  • Again, the safest way to prevent HIV infection is to have monogamous sex with a partner who has had tests and you know you are not infected.