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    AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Synonyms

    • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

    Disorder Subdivisions

    • AIDS related complex
    • ARC
    • AIDS Prodrome
    • Wasting/Lymph Node Syndrome
    • Mini-AIDS
    • AIDS-Related Complex (ARC)

    General Discussion

    AIDS is an infectious disorder that suppresses the normal function of the immune system. It is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which destroys the body's ability to fight infections. Specific cells of the immune system that are responsible for the proper response to infections (T cells) are destroyed by this virus. Characteristically a person infected with HIV initially experiences no symptoms for a variable period of time. This may be followed by the development of persistent generalized swelling of the lymph nodes (AIDS-related lymphadenopathy). Eventually most patients infected with HIV experience a syndrome of symptoms that includes excessive fatigue, weight loss, and/or skin rashes.

    The later stages of HIV infection are characterized by the progressive depression of T cells and repeated infections that can even occur during a course of antibiotic therapy for another infection (superinfections). People with AIDS are particularly vulnerable to "opportunistic infections" from bacteria that other people normally fight off. Pneumocystis carinii, which causes severe inflammation of the lungs (pneumonia), is a common infection that affects people with AIDS. Cancers (malignant neoplasms), and a wide variety of neurological abnormalities, most notably the AIDS dementia complex, may also occur. These neurological symptoms when of HIV, infects the nervous system.

    Resources

    Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S.
    90 John St.
    Suite 704
    New York, NY 10038
    Tel: (212)819-9770
    Fax: (212)819-9776
    Email: pmalone@siecus.org
    Internet: http://www.siecus.org

    amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
    120 Wall Street
    13th Floor
    New York, NY 10005-3908
    USA
    Tel: (212)806-1600
    Fax: (212)806-1601
    Tel: (800)392-6327
    Email: webmaster@amfar.org
    Internet: http://www.amfar.org

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Road NE
    Atlanta, GA 30333
    Tel: (404)639-3534
    Tel: (800)232-4636
    TDD: (888)232-6348
    Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
    Internet: http://www.cdc.gov/

    NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
    Office of Communications and Government Relations
    6610 Rockledge Drive, MSC 6612
    Bethesda, MD 20892-6612
    Tel: (301)496-5717
    Fax: (301)402-3573
    Tel: (866)284-4107
    TDD: (800)877-8339
    Email: ocpostoffice@niaid.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/

    American Social Health Association
    P.O. Box 13827
    Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
    Tel: (919)361-8400
    Fax: (919)361-8425
    Email: customerservice@ashastd.org
    Internet: http://www.ashastd.org

    HIV/AIDS Treatment Information Service
    P.O. Box 6303
    Rockville, MD 20849-6303
    Tel: (301)519-0459
    Fax: (301)519-6616
    Tel: (800)448-0440
    TDD: (888)480-3739
    Email: atis@hivatis.org
    Internet: http://www.hivatis.org

    CDC Business Responds to AID/Labor Responds to AIDS
    P.O. Box 6003
    Rockville, MD 20849-6003
    Tel: (877)242-9760
    Fax: (301)562-1050
    Tel: (301)562-1098
    TDD: (240)514-2780
    Email: info@hivatwork.org
    Internet: http://www.brta-lrta.org

    Health Information Network
    P.O. Box 30762
    7211 Greenwood Ave N.
    Seattle, WA 98113
    USA
    Tel: (206)784-5655
    Fax: (203)784-3240
    Email: information@healthinfonetwork.org
    Internet: http://www.healthinfonetwork.org

    Hemophilia Federation of America
    210 7th St. SE
    Suite 200B
    Washington, DC 20003
    USA
    Tel: (202)675-6984
    Fax: (202)675-6983
    Tel: (800)230-9797
    Email: info@hemophiliafed.org
    Internet: http://www.hemophiliafed.org

    AIDSinfo
    P.O. Box 4780
    Rockville, MD 20849-6303
    USA
    Fax: (305)315-2818
    Tel: (800)448-0440
    TDD: (888)480-3739
    Email: ContactUs@aidsinfo.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www.aidsinfo.nih.gov

    Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
    PO Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
    Tel: (301)251-4925
    Fax: (301)251-4911
    Tel: (888)205-2311
    TDD: (888)205-3223
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    Center for Peripheral Neuropathy
    University of Chicago
    5841 South Maryland Ave, MC 2030
    Chicago, IL 60637
    Tel: (773)702-5659
    Fax: (773)702-5577
    Internet: http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchicago.edu/

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 8/8/2007
    Copyright 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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