These two terms are often confused; HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection, which affected nearly 37 million people as of 2016.

Death occurs when patients catch opportunistic diseases after their defense system has been weakened due to the HIV virus, but do not die due to the virus itself.

A great deal has been learned about this viral disease over the past thirty years, making it possible to reduce the number of infections by 39 percent and the number of deaths by 33 percent.