Difference Between HIV and AIDS
Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a human virus forcing the immune system to discontinue its proper functioning. It is the virus which causes the disease called AIDS, an acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The body contracts HIV through mucous membranes as well as blood contact. The body’s immune system is then slowly attacked and perfectly healthy cells of the immune system are killed off. As the immune system is crushed to complete destruction, AIDS will be the end result.
The weakened immune system will begin with symptoms such as fatigue, fever, rash, swollen glands, and headaches. The HIV symptoms in men are similar to women. However, women tend to have frequent vaginal yeast infections as well as pelvic inflammatory disease symptoms. The innate immune system would fight such symptoms in men or women. When related to HIV, however, the immune system is completely compromised which can lead to an AIDS result. Another way to determine the difference between HIV and AIDS is to realize that AIDS is at the final stages of an HIV infection. At this point, infections which are otherwise normally overcome by a healthy individual become impossible to defeat. Fever, pneumonia, chronic and painful rashes, sore throat, headaches, and more will be suffered at this level of the disease.
The beginning stages of HIV is called a window which antibodies are looked for in testing. During the next seroconversion stage, the body develops antibodies to attack the virus. The next, symptom free stage of the infection will last from 6 months and all the way up to 10 years. This somewhat denotes the difference between HIV and AIDS, as the next stage of the infection is progressed to the disease called AIDS. At this point, the TCells are dropped to below 200. This is considered to be the final stage of the entire process of HIV in progression to the disease.