Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus. It causes HIV infection and over time acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). AIDS is a condition in which causes progressive failure of the immune system and allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive.
Without treatment, average survival time after infection with HIV is estimated to be 9 to 11 years, depending on the HIV subtype. Infection with HIV occurs by the transfer of blood, pre-ejaculate, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk.
Nowadays we have excellent tests for HIV, medicines that can help prevent infection (Truvada), and treatments for those with the virus. Getting tested and making sure your sexual partners are tested is one of the best ways you can stay protected from HIV.