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Science of HIV and AIDS

Scientists and researchers have been studying HIV and AIDS since the 1980s, and we now know a lot about them.

However, HIV mutates very quickly and there are various strains of the virus making scientific advances in the field difficult.

Here we discuss in more detail the way HIV is transmitted, prevented and progresses to AIDS; the various strains and types; the different stages of HIV infection in the body; and advances towards preventative measures such as vaccines and microbicides.


HIV virus in bloodstream
Discover how HIV is transmitted, replicates in the body, and progresses to AIDS without treatment.
HIV virus
There are two types of HIV called HIV-1 and HIV-2. Find out where in the world they exist and cause illness.
HIV virus infecting cell
There are three stages of HIV infection and each stage has a different level of impact on the immune system.
Scientist looks down a microscope
Find out why developing an HIV vaccine is so challenging and the complications around developing microbicides.