What is HIV?
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), also known as HIV, infects cells of the immune system, destroying or damaging its function. Viral infections cause a progressive decline in the immune system, and finally "immune defects." When the immune system is unable to exert its effects against infection and disease, it is considered to be immunodeficiency. Infections associated with severe immunodeficiency are referred to as "opportunistic infections" because these infections can only occur if the immune system is not functioning properly.
How many people are infected with HIV?
According to estimates by WHO and UNAIDS, as of the end of 2016, there were approximately 36.7 million people living with HIV worldwide. In the same year, approximately 1.8 million people were newly infected with HIV and 1 million died of HIV-related causes.
How long does it take for people living with HIV to develop AIDS patients?
There can be large individual differences in terms of length of time. In the absence of treatment, most people living with HIV develop signs of HIV-related illnesses within 5 to 10 years of infection, and this time may be shorter. The time from HIV infection to diagnosis of AIDS is 10 to 15 years, sometimes longer. Antiretroviral therapy slows the progression of the disease by preventing viral replication and thereby reducing the amount of virus in the blood of infected people (called "viral load").