Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This condition progressively reduces the effectiveness of the immune system and leaves individuals susceptible to opportunistic infections and tumours. Although treatments for AIDS and HIV can slow the course of the disease, there is no known cure or vaccine. The infection and virus frequently come under the title HIV/AIDS. HIV is usually contracted via contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid from an infected person who carries the virus. The disease is very difficult to treat and is considered to be a pandemic, a disease that is still spreading. It is thought that HIV originated in West-Central Africa in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. AIDS and HIV were initially recognized in the early 1980s. Today, approximately 34 million people worldwide are thought to be carrying the disease and virus.
sug0184 - United Nations, Geneva, 1990
sgo0238 - Greenland, 1993