Learn the thin line that separates HIV, STD, and AIDS. 

Many people do not understand the differences between HIV, STD, and AIDS. In fact, people sometimes believe that there are no differences between HIV, STD, and AIDS.

One of the most interesting arguments I had with a friend over the summer was the difference between HIV and AIDS. My colleague insisted that HIV and AIDS were the same and had no difference.

The truth is that HIV differs from AIDs, and so is STD.

After an exhaustive discussion, with back and forth arguments, we came to the conclusion that indeed, there were significant differences.

So then, let’s have a brief look at the differences between HIV, STD, and AIDS.

 What is HIV?

HIV is the shortened form for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. As you might start to guess, HIV is a virus that stays solely in human blood. It does not have the ability or capacity to live in any other environment.

‘Immunodeficiency’ implies that the virus weakens the immunity systems of the body. Weakening the immunity system of the body is caused by the deficit in the ability to sustain and maintain the immunity of the body.

The virus is known for damaging the body cells and making the body vulnerable to other infections. The body, therefore, becomes weak and unable to fight any infections or diseases.

The HIV virus can be transmitted from one person to another through sexual intercourse. It can also be transmitted from the body of an infected person to another through any form of blood contact.

HIV leaves the body with varied signs and symptoms as the body starts to lose immunity and becomes vulnerable to infections and diseases.

You might need to be observant enough to realize the changes in your body that could be a pointer to the presence of the virus in your body.

While HIV is transferable from one person to another, AIDS is not transferable.

What is AIDS?

AIDS is an abbreviation for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. As you’d guess, acquired means that a person gets infected with it, while Immunodeficiency implies that ‘immune deficiency.’

Immunodeficiency, in other words, implies that the body system is weak and unable to fight any viruses or infections.

The syndromes are a group of health-related issues that contribute to the existence of a disease.

AIDS, therefore, is a human condition in which the inability of the body immunity system to fight the entry of viruses into the bloodstream occasions an opportunity for infections to attack the body.

And because the HIV virus is responsible for the weakening of the body immunity systems, it would be easy to conclude that HIV causes AIDS.

When the HIV virus invades the body, the body immunity system produces and releases antibodies that are ‘special soldiers' of immune molecules that have the responsibility of fighting the HIV virus

What is the difference between HIV and AIDS? 

First, while HIV is transferable from an infected person to an uninfected person, AIDS is not transferable. Sexual intercourse can transfer the HIV virus from one sexual partner to another while it cannot transfer AIDS between the same-sex partners.

Also, AIDS is not acquired; it is developed. AIDS, unlike, HIV is developed in the body over time. It only becomes prominent after the body immunity system becomes weak and unable to fight the entry of any virus and infections into the body.


Again, having the HIV virus in the body does not mean that you have AIDS. There are many people who have the virus and yet they have not fallen sick for such a long period of time.

Today, scientists have developed antiretroviral drugs that suppress the virus and make them inactivity. When the virus becomes dormant in the body, the immunity system becomes stronger and able to fight the entry of other opportunistic infections.

Another difference that you should know is the mode of acquisition of both HIV and AIDS. While HIV is sexually transmitted, AIDS does not come as a result of sex. It develops as a result of a weakened immune system in the body.

Now that we know HIV (and not AIDS) is sexually transmitted, wouldn't it be good to understand the meaning of Sexually Transmitted Diseases better?

Your guess could be as good as mine.

Here is what STD means.

STD is the short form of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. This means that STDs are infections or diseases that are transferred through sex. They can be transmitted from one person to another through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Bacteria, viruses, or fungicides can cause them.

So, while HIV is a virus that weakens the body immunity systems and AIDS is the condition that comes as a result of the weakened body immunity system, STDs are sexually transmitted diseases that are caused by a virus, a fungicide, or bacteria- often through sexual intercourse. For more details, visit our STD Labs for Free medical consultation.