HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV attacks the body’s immune system and weakens it over time until it cannot fight off infections and cancers that a healthy person can.  There is no cure for HIV, but very effective treatment means HIV can now be classed as a long-term manageable condition. With this effective treatment people with HIV are living, long and healthy lives.  But as with any long-term condition, being diagnosed with HIV can be a life-changing experience that can have a whole range of emotional and practical implications.   

However, there are a range of services that offer support and guidance on all aspects your life with HIV.

If you are looking for more information then we recommend reading the basics about HIV via NAM and checking out their range of excellent leaflets.

What about AIDS?

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.  AIDS is the name used to describe a combination of potentially life-threatening infections and cancers, which can develop when someone’s immune system has been damaged by untreated HIV. You cannot catch AIDS and there is no AIDS test.  HIV causes AIDS and it is HIV that can be passed on. Just because someone has been diagnosed with an AIDS-related illness, does not mean they will die.  Thanks to effective HIV treatment, many people who develop AIDS are now very well and can look forward to a long and healthy life.