HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, weakens the immune system and makes you more susceptible to infections and diseases. If untreated, HIV can eventually turn into acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS, which is the end-stage, clinical syndrome of the HIV infection. Because of the improved treatment options and increased awareness since I first began my career in 1998, patients with HIV today have many reasons to be optimistic. If individuals are on effective therapy, the virus rarely escalates into AIDS, and most people who are diagnosed HIV-positive and take their medications every day can expect to live a full and normal life.
THIS CONTENT DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. This content is
provided for informational purposes and reflects the opinions of the
author. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice,
diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare
professional regarding your health. If you think you may have a medical
emergency, contact your doctor immediately or call 911.
Stacey Rizza, MD, is Chair of the Mayo HIV
Clinic, and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the Mayo Medical
School. She has been treating HIV patients since 1998.
View her Healthgrades profile >