The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) affects cells in the immune system. Once enough of these cells are destroyed by HIV, the body is less able to fight infections or disease. If left untreated, HIV can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Currently, there is no cure for HIV. There are, however, very effective treatments for HIV known as antiretroviral therapy or ART. ARTs can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV and lower their chance of infecting others.
Have questions about HIV or other STDs? Call the State of Illinois AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline at 1-800-AID-AIDS (1-800-243-2437).