Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that infects and destroys the cells of the immune system. In its later form, HIV develops into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. It can take 10-15 years for a person with HIV to develop AIDS1.
HIV is transmitted in one of several ways:
- Unprotected sexual intercourse
- Contaminated blood transfusions
- Sharing of contaminated needles
- From mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding