- Disease Name: HIV / AIDS
- Discovery Date: 1981 at the Pasteur Institute in France
- Disease Types: HIV-1 and HIV-2
- Transmission Methods: Sexual Contact and Blood Transmissions
- Treatment Methods: Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART)
- Prevention Methods: Sexual Abstinence or Condoms (safe sex)
23 HIV Facts for Kids
- HIV is the popular acronym for two human immunodeficiency viruses.
- The HIV viruses uses important cells in the human immune system to reproduce and ultimately destroys them.
- An HIV infection becomes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) when CD4+ T cells in the human body drop below a critical level.
- Ultimately, a person with HIV that has progressed to AIDS dies from opportunistic infections and cancers that normally would be suppressed by a health human immune system.
- A person can be infected with HIV from another person who is already HIV positive.
- The primary transmission methods for HIV are unsafe sexual contact and sharing needles.
- Vaginal, anal sex without a condom can result in the transmission of HIV.
- HIV is the deadliest sexually transmitted disease (STD).
- The sharing of needles among drug users is another want HIV is transmitted.
- Prior to testing, blood transfusions were a source of HIV infections. Today, blood is tested for HIV before use.
- The term HIV is used to refer to two retroviruses in the Lentivirus genus.
- The two types of HIV are HIV-1 and HIV-2.
- HIV-1 is the most widely distributed of the two, HIV-2 is commonly only found in Africa.
- HIV can be treated, but not cured, using antiretroviral therapy (ART).
- Proper use of antiretroviral therapy can result in undetectable viral loads if treatment is continued.
- In 2019, it was estimated that 38 million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS.
- In 2019, it was estimated that 1.7 million people would acquire HIV/AIDS.
- In 2019, it was estimated that about 690,000 people worldwide died due to HIV/AIDs.
- In 2019, around 32.7 million people have died from HIV/AIDS worldwide since the start of the epidemic.
- HIV was first discovered in 1983 by French virologists Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier at the Pasteur Institute in France.
- Even though virologists discovered HIV/AIDS in 1983, it’s estimated that virus first appeared in the 1920s.
- The earliest confirmed HIV-1 sample is from ZR59 that came from a Bantu male in 1959.
- Prior to 1987, an HIV/AIDS diagnosis was considered a death sentence. This was due to there being no available treatment for HIV. In 1987, the first treat for HIV became available, it was AZT (zidovudine).
Pictures Related to HIV/AIDS
An illustration of what an HIV cell looks like.
A picture of an HIV/AIDS awareness ribbon.
A picture of PrEP pills for HIV exposure.
Additional Resources on HIV/AIDS
- HIV/AIDs Basics – Learn about the basics of HIV/AIDs on the U.S. CDC website.
- Types of HIV/AIDs – Discover the different types of HIV/AIDs on the WebMD website.
- HIV/AIDs Treatments – Find the different types of treatments for HIV/AIDs on the Mayo Clinic website.
- HIV/AIDs – Wikipedia – Read more about HIV/AIDs on the Wikipedia website.