Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS): Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 7/10/2020

AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, a condition that develops over time as a result of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). After the HIV virus infects a human, there may be a brief flu-like illness, but typical symptoms and signs do not develop for years. The virus that causes AIDS, HIV, usually spreads through sexual contact or sharing IV drug needles, but contact with infected blood can also infect someone.

Signs and symptoms of AIDS can include

Other associated symptoms and signs can include

  • brown, pink or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids;
  • swollen lymph nodes in the armpits, groin, or neck; and
  • white spots or unusual blemishes on the tongue, in the mouth, or in the throat.

Cause of AIDS

Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes AIDS over time.

Other acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (aids) symptoms


What is HIV? See Answer

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.