Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the most severe stage of HIV infection. HIV attacks and destroys a type of white blood cell called CD4+ cells, or helper cells. These cells are an important part of the immune system. If HIV is not treated, it will usually get worse over time and cause AIDS.

A person who has HIV is diagnosed with AIDS when they have one or both of the following:

  • A CD4+ cell count below 200 cells per microliter (mcL) of blood.
  • Certain infections or cancers that are usually seen only in people who have problems with their immune system. Examples include infections such as Pneumocystis pneumonia and cancers such as Kaposi sarcoma.

Treating HIV can help the immune system stay healthy. This may delay or prevent AIDS.

Due to the threat of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we are taking precautionary measures to protect our staff and patients. We are implementing a temporary NO VISITOR policy at this time. Only patients or patients and their guardians will be allowed into the office. Please note, this is not to inconvenience anyone! The virus is a very real threat and it is essential that we stay healthy in order to provide needed care for our patients. If you are sick, we ask that you CALL the office to speak with a nurse before you come in. The nurse will provide specific instructions for you. Please DO NOT enter the office if you are sick (upper respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, or flu like symptoms). We are closely monitoring the situation and will update you as circumstances change. Thank you for your understanding!!