How do HIV and AIDS differ?

Someone who is HIV positive does not necessarily have AIDS. HIV is said to have advanced to AIDS when an infected person develops an AIDS-defining illness (one or more of the conditions currently recognized by the Centers for Disease Control), or certain results on their blood tests, even if they have not yet developed symptoms.

How quickly or slowly HIV progresses to AIDS varies from one person to another. As is the case with other diseases, early detection by a healthcare provider is key to fighting HIV/AIDS.