Frequently Asked Questions About Starting HIV Treatment


Stacey Rizza, MD    

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Over the last 30 years, the way we think about and treat HIV has changed drastically. Although it was once thought to be a death sentence, today HIV is a chronic disease that can be successfully controlled with the right treatment.

But despite developments in education and medication, many people still don’t understand the basics of HIV. Infectious Disease Specialist Stacey Rizza, M.D. answers common questions she hears from her patients.

1. Q: What’s the difference between HIV and AIDS?

A: HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is the name of the virus that weakens the immune system by killing the Cluster of Differentiation 4 (CD4) T cells, which help the body fight infections. HIV is transmitted through bodily fluid like blood, semen or saliva.

Thanks to years of research and discoveries, we know a lot more about HIV than we did decades ago. Keep yourself safe and healthy by knowing the facts about HIV.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Oct 23, 2015