What is HIV?

Last updated:

By Steve Page

The top 2 treatments for HIV are:

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus

HIV gradually destroys an infected person’s immune system, which protects them from infections, reducing their protections against infections and cancers.

Testing through RUClear for Syphilis automatically tests for HIV.

HIV Symptoms

Initially between two and six weeks after being infected many people develop symptoms, although they may not recognise them at the time as they are often very mild and mistaken for other illnesses such as a cold or glandular fever.  These are:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Tiredness
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Swollen glands
  • A blotchy rash

After these initial symptoms have gone, HIV will often not cause any symptoms for many years although the virus will be continually growing and damaging the immune system.

What is the Treatment for HIV?

No drugs completely cure the HIV infection however with early diagnosis treatment can keep the HIV virus under control and the immune system healthy. Read more about the various stages of HIV infection.  People on HIV treatment can live a long and healthy, active life.

If HIV is diagnosed late, treatment may be less effective and therefore affect quality of life.

Are HIV and AIDS the same thing?


AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

HIV is not the same as AIDS.

AIDS is a medical condition. A person is diagnosed with AIDS when their immune system is too weak to fight off infections.

The term AIDS was first used by doctors when the exact nature of HIV was not fully understood. However, the term is no longer used. 

HIV-Related Recommended Reading:

What is Syphilis?