In concrete terms, HIV is a human immunodeficiency virus. It breaks down the immune system. HIV is not the same thing as AIDS. AIDS is the collective name for all the HIV related illnesses that can break out if the immune system has been crippled by the virus. Today’s medicines control the virus level to the extent that HIV does not have an effect on the immune system. AIDS can therefore not develop.
HIV is a virus. With today’s treatment methods it is a chronic infection and not a life-threatening disease.