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This scanning electron micrograph shows the presence of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1). Courtesy of CDC/ C. Goldsmith, P. Feorino, E. L. Palmer, W. R. McManu


Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. A disease transmitted from people carrying the HIV virus through the exchange of bodily fluids such as blood and semen from infected people. AIDS cannot be contracted through casual contact such as touching ill people or being in the same room with them. Many doctors and other scientists are working on finding ways to treat AIDS and prevent its spread.