What is HIV?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) attacks your body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells that help keep the body’s immune system healthy. Untreated, HIV destroys the number of CD4 cells in the body if not treated, making you more vulnerable to infections. Some people can live with HIV for years, and others can get sick very quickly. Not treating HIV as soon as possible can harm your immune system so that the body can’t fight off infections and disease.

What are CD4 – T cells?
These cells play an important role in the immune system and help protect you from infections. A CD4 count measures the amount of these cells in your body. A normal CD4 count for the average person is between 500-1600.  When a person who is HIV positive does not go onto ARV treatement, and their CD4 count drops below 200, their bodies are very vulnerable to infections. This is a signal that the person has Aids.  Aids is the last stage of HIV infection.