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What is HIV? What is AIDS?

HIV is a virus. It weakens the immune system which the body needs to fight off illnesses. If you have become infected but do not take medication early enough, you can develop AIDS, a potentially deadly disease.

HIV and AIDS are present the world over – even in Germany. Everyone, regardless of their age, gender identity or sexual orientation, can become infected with HIV. But you can protect yourself and others from HIV.

Today, there are very effective medications to treat HIV. They prevent the virus from multiplying in the blood, but these medications are not able to remove it from the body totally. Thanks to these medications, people with HIV have an almost normal life expectancy and can live with the virus without developing AIDS. In addition, effective treatment can prevent HIV from being transmitted during sex. 

It is important for the infection to be detected early on with an HIV test.

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