HIV Basics

A virus we should all care about

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This condition attacks the body’s immune system, and makes it difficult to fight off illnesses. When someone’s first infected, they normally experience symptoms like a sore throat, fever or rash.

Although they may not experience any other symptoms for years, the virus is slowly damaging the immune system. Without treatment it will develop into Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: AIDS. You cannot catch AIDS. It is only HIV that can be passed on and in Scotland, the two main ways are through sex without a condom and the sharing of drug-injecting equipment.

Living successfully with HIV

While many people assume someone with HIV will quickly develop AIDS, it’s no longer the case. HIV can now be treated much more effectively, so people living with the condition can expect a near normal life expectancy and that’s especially true if it’s diagnosed early. There is still no cure for HIV, but every day research continues to improve treatments and ultimately develop vaccines against the virus.

For more information on HIV, click here