HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a disease that attacks and destroys the body's immune system. The immune system is the body's defense against diseases and sickness. If the immune system does not work well, a person can develop deadly infections and cancers.
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the most serious stage of HIV infection. This stage means the immune system of the infected person has been destroyed.
Being infected with HIV does not mean a person has AIDS, but rather that the person's immune system may be damaged, leading to AIDS.
Effects on a Child's Health
How HIV infection will affect a child's health differs with each child. Some children show symptoms of the infection as early as the year they are born; others may not show any signs of disease until much later. How old the child is when symptoms start to show is an important clue to how your child's health may be affected.
HIV makes your child's immune system weak and hard to fight off infections or cancer, and it can make your child more vulnerable to other problems and diseases. Sometimes it can even cause strokes. The medicines used to treat HIV can have many side effects. Medicine used to treat HIV can help, but not cure the disease. Some possible side effects of the treatment include:
- Nausea or being sick to the stomach.
- Fatigue or tiring often and easily.
To get more information about HIV/AIDS, click here.
*Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.