Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, a disease in which there is a severe loss of the body's cellular immunity, greatly lowering the resistance to infection and malignancy. The cause is a human immune deficiency virus, or HIV transmitted in blood and in sexual fluids. AIDS was first reported June 5, 1981. A combination of several antiretroviral drugs, called highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), has been very effective in reducing the number of HIV particles in the bloodstream. The best treatment for AIDS in humans is prevention by vaccination.
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