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Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

Synonym(s)

  • acquired immune deficiency
  • AIDS
  • autoimmune deficiency syndrome
  • immunodeficiency due to human immunodeficiency virus infection

Definition(s)

A syndrome resulting from the acquired deficiency of cellular immunity caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is characterized by the reduction of the Helper T-lymphocytes in the peripheral blood and the lymph nodes; opportunistic infections (usually pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections, tuberculosis, candida infections, and cryptococcosis); and the development of malignant neoplasms (usually non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Kaposi's sarcoma). The human immunodeficiency virus is transmitted through sexual contact, sharing of contaminated needles, or transfusion of contaminated blood. Generalized lymphadenopathy, fever, weight loss, and chronic diarrhea are common symptoms of AIDS. The patients usually die either of opportunistic infections or malignant neoplasms. -- 2004

Definition from: NCI Thesaurus via Unified Medical Language SystemThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. at the National Library of Medicine

A disease caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). People with AIDS are at an increased risk for developing certain cancers and for infections that usually occur only in individuals with a weak immune system.

Definition from:  National Cancer Institute dictionaryThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.

Related discussion in the Handbook

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

 
Published: September 15, 2014