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Definition of AIDS

AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. AIDS is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV attacks and destroys CD4 cells, the disease-fighting cells of the immune system. As the immune system is seriously damaged, the infected person is more vulnerable to certain cancers and a wide range of infections. These types of infections are known as opportunistic infections because they take advantage of a person’s weakened immune system.

Primary AIDS defining illness (ADI) is the qualifying condition that leads to the classification of a case of HIV infection as AIDS. The most common AIDS defining condition was Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia (PCP) followed by tuberculosis and fungal infection.  In the absence of specific treatment, around half the people infected with HIV develop AIDS within ten years.

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) revealed the latest statistics on HIV/AIDS Infection in Hong Kong every quarter. Click here for more information.