Since the beginning of the pandemic, 85.6 million people have acquired HIV and more than 40 million have died of AIDS-related illnesses.

Basic Facts About HIV

What is AIDS?

AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is a disease in which the body’s immune system breaks down and is unable to fight off infections, known as “opportunistic infections,” and other illnesses that take advantage of a weakened immune system.

What is HIV?

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that causes AIDS. A member of a group of viruses called retroviruses, HIV infects human cells and uses the energy and nutrients provided by those cells to grow and reproduce.

HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

Roughly one in five new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. are among young people aged 13-24.

HIV/AIDS in the World

Approximately 4,100 people worldwide acquire HIV every day.

Snapshots of an Epidemic: An HIV/AIDS Timeline

Our chronicle of the HIV/AIDS pandemic begins in the summer of 1981, when the first cases of a mysterious and deadly new pathogen come to light.

HIV Resources

A wide range of local, national and international organizations conduct research and provide services, information and advocacy for individuals and communities affected by HIV.