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AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important

It is possible that the main title of the report AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

Disorder Subdivisions

  • AIDS related complex
  • ARC
  • AIDS Prodrome
  • Wasting/Lymph Node Syndrome
  • Mini-AIDS
  • AIDS-Related Complex (ARC)

General Discussion

AIDS is an infectious disorder that suppresses the normal function of the immune system. It is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which destroys the body's ability to fight infections. Specific cells of the immune system that are responsible for the proper response to infections (T cells) are destroyed by this virus. Characteristically a person infected with HIV initially experiences no symptoms for a variable period of time. This may be followed by the development of persistent generalized swelling of the lymph nodes (AIDS-related lymphadenopathy). Eventually most patients infected with HIV experience a syndrome of symptoms that includes excessive fatigue, weight loss, and/or skin rashes.



The later stages of HIV infection are characterized by the progressive depression of T cells and repeated infections that can even occur during a course of antibiotic therapy for another infection (superinfections). People with AIDS are particularly vulnerable to "opportunistic infections" from bacteria that other people normally fight off. Pneumocystis carinii, which causes severe inflammation of the lungs (pneumonia), is a common infection that affects people with AIDS. Cancers (malignant neoplasms), and a wide variety of neurological abnormalities, most notably the AIDS dementia complex, may also occur. These neurological symptoms when of HIV, infects the nervous system.

Resources

Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S.

90 John St.

Suite 704

New York, NY 10038

Tel: (212)819-9770

Fax: (212)819-9776

Email: pmalone@siecus.org

Internet: http://www.siecus.org



amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

120 Wall Street

13th Floor

New York, NY 10005-3908

USA

Tel: (212)806-1600

Fax: (212)806-1601

Tel: (800)392-6327

Email: webmaster@amfar.org

Internet: http://www.amfar.org



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Road NE

Atlanta, GA 30333

Tel: (404)639-3534

Tel: (800)232-4636

TDD: (888)232-6348

Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov

Internet: http://www.cdc.gov/



NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Office of Communications and Government Relations

6610 Rockledge Drive, MSC 6612

Bethesda, MD 20892-6612

Tel: (301)496-5717

Fax: (301)402-3573

Tel: (866)284-4107

TDD: (800)877-8339

Email: ocpostoffice@niaid.nih.gov

Internet: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/



American Social Health Association

P.O. Box 13827

Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

Tel: (919)361-8400

Fax: (919)361-8425

Email: customerservice@ashastd.org

Internet: http://www.ashastd.org



HIV/AIDS Treatment Information Service

P.O. Box 6303

Rockville, MD 20849-6303

Tel: (301)519-0459

Fax: (301)519-6616

Tel: (800)448-0440

TDD: (888)480-3739

Email: atis@hivatis.org

Internet: http://www.hivatis.org



CDC Business Responds to AID/Labor Responds to AIDS

P.O. Box 6003

Rockville, MD 20849-6003

Tel: (877)242-9760

Fax: (301)562-1050

Tel: (301)562-1098

TDD: (240)514-2780

Email: info@hivatwork.org

Internet: http://www.brta-lrta.org



Health Information Network

P.O. Box 30762

7211 Greenwood Ave N.

Seattle, WA 98113

USA

Tel: (206)784-5655

Fax: (203)784-3240

Email: information@healthinfonetwork.org

Internet: http://www.healthinfonetwork.org



Hemophilia Federation of America

210 7th St. SE

Suite 200B

Washington, DC 20003

USA

Tel: (202)675-6984

Fax: (202)675-6983

Tel: (800)230-9797

Email: info@hemophiliafed.org

Internet: http://www.hemophiliafed.org



AIDSinfo

P.O. Box 4780

Rockville, MD 20849-6303

USA

Fax: (305)315-2818

Tel: (800)448-0440

TDD: (888)480-3739

Email: ContactUs@aidsinfo.nih.gov

Internet: http://www.aidsinfo.nih.gov



Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126

Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126

Tel: (301)251-4925

Fax: (301)251-4911

Tel: (888)205-2311

TDD: (888)205-3223

Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/



Center for Peripheral Neuropathy

University of Chicago

5841 South Maryland Ave, MC 2030

Chicago, IL 60637

Tel: (773)702-5659

Fax: (773)702-5577

Internet: http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchicago.edu/



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  8/8/2007

Copyright  1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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