Wikipedia:Today's featured article/June 15, 2006

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Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding from lymphocyte

AIDS is a collection of symptoms and infections in humans resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the late stage of which leaves individuals prone to opportunistic infections and tumours. Although treatments for AIDS and HIV exist that slow the virus's progression, there is no known cure. HIV is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid containing HIV, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid and breast milk. This transmission can come in the form of: anal or vaginal sex; blood transfusion; contaminated needles; exchange between mother and infant during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding; or other exposure to one of the above bodily fluids. Most researchers believe that HIV originated in sub-Saharan Africa during the twentieth century; it is now a pandemic, with more than 40 million people now living with the disease worldwide. (More...)

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