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A serious viral infection which damages the immune system (our body's defense system), hindering its ability to protect against other infections.
HIV can be divided into two strains:
• HIV-I is found throughout the world and is the primary strain found in the United States.
• HIV-2 is found primarily in West Africa. Several West African nations have a prevalence of HIV-2 of more than 1% in the general population
Both HIV-I and HIV-2 have several groups and subtypes that have been discovered and it is likely that more Will be discovered in the future. Current blood testing in the United States can detect both strains and all known subtypes. Click here for more information on Groups and Subtypes of HIV
Stages of HV: The clinical progression of HIV is truly a continuum which is generally expressed as progressing through 4 stages.
AIDS – Acquired Immune(o) Deficiency Syndrome. The stage of HIV infection where, due to the decreasing immune function, certain specific ‘opportunistic’ infections, cancers, nervous system disorders and syndromes become evident. This is the fourth stage of HIV infection.