The virus that causes AIDS is called the human immunodeficiency virus: HIV. When it enters the body, HIV mainly attacks certain white blood cells (T4 lymphocytes) which function to defend us against disease. AIDS disease is the most advanced and serious stage of HIV infection.

How is AIDS transmitted?

  • The AIDS virus is spread during unprotected sex or when the blood of a person who is infected with the virus enters the body of another person who is not infected.
  • During sex without a condom:
    • a man infected with HIV can pass it on to a woman.
    • a woman infected with HIV can pass it on to another man.
    • a man infected with HIV can transmit it to another man.
  • When using a syringe and needle * that have already been used by a person with HIV: the blood of the infected person that remains in the syringe and the needle can enter the body. Likewise, in the event of accidental injury with an object soiled with contaminated blood, contamination may occur.
  • The virus can pass from a pregnant woman with HIV to her baby during pregnancy and childbirth or after birth if she is breastfeeding her baby.

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