HIV is a virus that attacks the human immune system. There is no cure for HIV. Unlike some other viruses, such as the common cold, HIV cannot be cleared from the body. However, there are treatments available. Talk to your healthcare provider and see below for more information.
HIV attacks and destroys CD4 T-cells — important immune system cells that help your body fight infections. The more CD4 T-cells that are destroyed, the weaker your immune system can become. With fewer CD4 T-cells due to HIV, it can be harder for your body to fight illnesses and infections.
Being HIV positive is not the same as having AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV is a virus that kills CD4 T-cells in the body. Over time, if so many CD4 T-cells are killed that the body has a reduced ability to fight infection, HIV can advance to AIDS. HIV infection advances to AIDS when there are less than 200 CD4 T-cells per cubic millimeter of blood. If this happens, it means your immune system has become very weak, and you can quickly become very sick.