HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. There is currently no effective cure for HIV. However, with proper medical care, the condition can be controlled. When people with HIV do not get treatment, they typically progress through three stages. Stage 1, the most contagious phase, involves acute infection with flu-like symptoms. Stage 2 is a chronic infection with no symptoms, but HIV is still transmissible at this stage. Stage 3 is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), the most severe stage of HIV infection, with an increasing number of opportunistic infections or other serious illnesses.
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