|HIV is a virus spread through certain body fluids that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells, often called T cells. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. These special cells help the immune system fight off infections. Untreated, HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body. This damage to the immune system makes it harder and harder for the body to fight off infections and some other diseases. Opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that the person has AIDS. Learn more about the stages of HIV and how to know whether you’re infected.||
Download 101 Consumer Info Sheet
Preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS requires a collaborative effort between partners at the national, state, and local levels. CDC offers many resources for partners to use in their education and prevention efforts. Explore the options below to learn more about the basics of HIV and AIDS.