AP Style AIDS

AP Style holds that “AIDS” is acceptable in all references for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and is sometimes called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

AIDS is a disease that weakens the immune system and gradually destroys the body’s ability to fight infections and certain cancers. It is cause by human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. Avoid saying the redundant “HIV virus.”

HIV is spread most often through sexual contact, contaminated needles or syringes shared by drug abusers, infected blood or blood products, and from infected women to their babies at birth or through breastfeeding.

There are several types of HIV tests available. One such test is a blood test that looks for antibodies the body has made to defend against HIV. Other tests look for parts of the virus itself in the blood.

Avoid using the HIV/AIDS construction. People can be infected with the virus and not have AIDS. They do not have AIDS until they have serious symptoms. Many remain infected but apparently healthy for years.

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