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Cause

The HIV infection is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

After HIV is in the body, it starts to destroy CD4+ cells, which are white blood cells that help the body fight infection and disease.

Recommended Related to HIV/AIDS

HIV, AIDS, and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

People with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) have a weakened immune system. As a result, they are more likely to develop certain cancers. This includes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Also known as AIDS-related lymphoma, this is a cancer of white blood cells. White blood cells fight infection. AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a later stage of HIV infection. Fortunately, antiretroviral therapy has cut the rate of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in HIV-positive people significantly.

Read the HIV, AIDS, and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma article > >

HIV is spread when blood, semen, or vaginal fluids from an infected person enter another person's body, usually through sexual contact, from sharing needles when injecting drugs, or from mother to baby during birth.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 13, 2014
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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