AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Syndromes are a collection of symptoms, and in this case those symptoms are caused by opportunistic infections like tuberculosis that take advantage of the body’s immune system which has been damaged by HIV.

This usually happens because a person has not been tested for HIV and the virus has been allowed to spend many years damaging their immune system.

The term AIDS is not often used in UK medical settings anymore as so few people become that ill due to HIV, and the stigma attached to the name – instead doctors tend to use the term ‘Late stage HIV’.  It is still used globally, however, as AIDS is the second biggest cause of death of young people worldwide, and the single biggest cause of death of young people in Sub-Saharan Africa.

AIDS cannot be passed on, and cannot be tested for. We can only test for the virus, HIV.