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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

EpiReview: HIV infection and AIDS in NSW, 1981 to 1999 Volume 11 Issue 12

Robert Menzies

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 11(12) 217 - 219 Published: 2000

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Robert Menzies


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is transmitted via body fluids, through behaviours such as unprotected sexual contact and sharing of intravenous injection equipment, or through transfusion with infected blood products. Initial infection may cause an acute mononucleosis-like illness within several weeks to months, lasting a week or two. Infected people are then usually free of symptoms for many months or years. However, the immune system becomes progressively damaged by the virus, eventually leading to the development of one or more opportunistic infections and cancers.