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acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)

AIDS is a chronic, life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging the immune system, HIV interferes with the body's ability to fight off viruses, bacteria and fungi that cause disease. HIV makes the patient more susceptible to certain types of cancers and to infections that the body would normally resist, such as pneumonia and meningitis. The virus and the infection itself are known as HIV. "Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)" is the name given to the later stages of an HIV infection.


Symptoms may include:

Early infection:

Later infection:

  • swollen lymph node
  • diarrhea
  • weight loss
  • fever
  • cough

Latest phase of infection:

  • infection
  • low lymphocyte count
  • chronic diarrhea
  • night sweats
  • chills or fever
  • dry cough
  • shortness of breath
  • white spots or unusual lesions on tongue or in mouth
  • blurred vision
  • weight loss

Causes may include:

  • sexual transmission
  • transmission through infected blood/blood transfusion
  • transmission through needle sharing
  • transmission from mother to child

Treatment may include:


  • medication

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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Hamilton. Phone: 609-586-7900 Physician Referral: 609-584-5900.

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