Human immunodeficiency virus infection
HIV infection is a condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The condition gradually destroys the immune system, which makes it harder for the body to fight infections.
This article provides a general overview. For more detailed information, see:
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can be spread by the following:
People who become infected with HIV may have no symptoms for up to 10 years, but they can still pass the infection to others. After being exposed to the virus, it can take up to 3 months for the HIV ELISA blood test to change from HIV negative to HIV positive.
HIV has spread throughout the U.S. The disease is more common in urban areas, especially in inner cities.
See also: AIDS for a more complete description of how HIV is spread.
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Del Rio C, Curran JW. Epidemiology and prevention of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and human immunodeficiency virus infection. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 118.
Sterling TR, Chaisson RE. General clinical manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus infection (including the acute retroviral syndrome and oral, cutaenous, renal, ocular, metabolic, and cardiac diseases. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 121.
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