WILL & DENI MCINTYRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WILL & DENI MCINTYRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A doctor examining a patient with AIDS (acquired immunodefficiency syndrome). AIDS is a viral disease which can incubate for many years. Initially AIDS is characterised by weight loss, fever and the enlargement of the lymph nodes. Eventually the patient will succumb to life-threatening illnesses, such as severe pneumonia or cancers, as the body is no longer able to provide an immune response. AIDS is transmitted through semen, vaginal fluid, and through blood, either by transfusion with contaminated blood or by the sharing of needles among intravenous drug users. The virus concerned is mainly the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
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