17 Most Interesting Facts about HIV/AIDS

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1. HIV is an abbreviation for human immunodeficiency virus, which is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

2. Globally, 40 million people are infected with AIDS. Approximately 2.1 million of those are under the age of 15.

3. HIV is the world’s leading infectious killer. To date, approximately 25 million people have died of AIDS around the world.

4.  HIV is primarily spread through 1) unprotected sex (vaginal, anal, oral) with someone who has HIV, 2) sharing needles or syringes, 3) being born to an infected mother, and 4) blood transfusions.

5. About a month after contracting HIV, some people will develop flu-like symptoms. These symptoms often go away often within a week or month. After this initial response, a person can have HIV for years before feeling ill.

6. For many years, China called AIDS the “loving capitalism disease” and claimed it was a disease caused by contact with the West. In 2009, China reported that AIDS had become the country’s leading cause of death among infectious diseases.