AIDS warning sign

AIDS warning sign

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Credit: TONY CRADDOCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: AIDS warning sign outside a hospital in a border town between India and Bhutan. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The virus weakens the immune system, making the patient susceptible to opportunistic infections and making normally harmless infections life threatening. Drugs are available in developed countries to slow the onset of the disease, but these are often unavailable in developing countries. The virus is spread through blood and certain bodily fluids. Sex, contaminated needles, blood transfusions and pregnancy (mother to child) are the most common transmission routes. Photographed in Phuentsholing, Bhutan.

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