What is HIV?

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that infects all the cells in your body, especially white blood cells that are important for fighting infections. There is no known cure although drugn treatments can prolong survival for at leats 10-20 years with the disease, and trials of vaccines are running at present. There is no evidence that pregnancy makes the disease worse, although the doctors and midwives must be on the lookout for any infections that you might develop, and ensure that your cervical smear tests are up to date and normal. You can be quite healthy and HIV positive for many years, it is only when the virus has damaged your immune system enough for you to suffer overwhelming infections or other illnesses that you are said to have developed AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome)
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