AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)


What causes it? How is it transmitted?

Caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It is passed from person to person through the exchange of contaminated blood (being exposed to contaminated blood or sharing of needles) or seminal/vaginal fluids (unprotected sex). Also, a mother can pass it onto her baby during pregnancy, at birth, or through breast milk.

What are the symptoms? How long do they it last? Is it deadly?

Full blown AIDS develops over time, as the human body is slowly weakened by HIV. People can live for many years without noticing symptoms, but once AIDS has developed, the infected person will eventually die due to complications.

Can it be cured? If so, how? If not, is there any way that we can at least treat it?

Not curable. It can be treated, but ultimately the weakening of the immune system will allow for opportunistic infections (OIs) to harm the individual. Currently, it is treated through a series of drugs called antiretrovirals.

Please see the slideshow embeded below for more information about AIDS.

1. Collins, N. (2010). Boy left dying in school corridor by teacher. Retrieved, March 20, 2010, from
Lesson and activity plans, learning facts about AIDS. Retrieved, March 18, from
(This above group of pages is an adaptation by Simon Forrest & Annabel Kanabus of material originally published in AIDS:Working With Young People by Peter Aggleton, Kim Rivers, & Ian Warwick(ISBN 0-9515351-8-8) together with some new material.)
2. Sc, Nancy. AIDS Powerpoint. Former of RCHK biology teacher.