HIV (scientifically known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS.
By killing or damaging cells of the body's immune system, HIV progressively destroys the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers.
This communicable disease is sexually transmitted; the other way is through body fluid and infected syringes and blood transmission.
This disease has spread so fastly in the world, especially in the poor and developing nations of the world that it has posed a serious threat against the human existence.
The infection rate remains at about 40,000 new cases a year.
HIV can be passed on because it would be present in the sexual fluids and blood of infected people.
Africa, Asia, Latin America and other parts of the world has come under its cover.
Today (in 2000), about thirty-five million people are HIV infected, of which about 29 million is in the sub-Saharan area.
In addition, infected pregnant women can pass HIV to their baby during pregnancy or delivery, as well as through breast-feeding. Some people diagnosed with HIV, have a high chance of developing a certain form of cancer.
Most of these people will develop AIDS as a result of their HIV infection.