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HIV infection is a viral infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that gradually destroys the immune system, resulting in infections that are hard for the body to fight. AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the final and most serious stage of HIV disease, which causes severe damage to the immune system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AIDS begins when a person with HIV infection has a CD4 cell count below 200. (CD4 is also called T-cell, a type of immune cell.) AIDS is also defined by numerous opportunistic infections and cancers that occur in the presence of HIV infection.

Internet Resources

AIDS Education Global Information System (AEGIS)
AEGIS is one of the most comprehensive, online resources available on HIV/AIDS, containing the largest searchable HIV/AIDS database on the Internet.

HIV InSite
This site includes comprehensive, up-to-date information on HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention and policy from the University of California San Francisco. The full text of the AIDS Knowledge Base is available in a fully searchable format as well as population-specific summaries from the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies.

International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care
This site offers an outstanding collection of fact sheets and other information, as well as an entire section dedicated to human rights.

MedlinePlus from the National Library of Medicine: AIDS
Developed at the National Library of Medicine specifically for consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information for the lay public.

Critical Path AIDS Project
Operated by patients, for patients.

Gay Men’s Health Crisis
The oldest community-based organization devoted to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.

Project Inform
In existence since 1985, this community-based organization provides information, inspiration and advocacy for people living with HIV and AIDS.

Baylor Pediatric AIDS Initiative
The Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative promotes health for all people through education, research and public service. It provides comprehensive medical and social services to HIV-infected and exposed infants and children; sustains excellence in educating domestic and foreign health professionals; and advances clinical research. Currently encompasses programs in Houston, Romania, Mexico, and southern Africa.

Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs
The Center for Communication Programs has pioneered research-based communication for behavior change and health promotion. Browse by topic and choose HIV/AIDS.

Provides international statistics on the epidemiology of HIV and AIDS, information about upcoming events, publications and more.

BETA: Bulletin of Experimental Treatments for AIDS
Full-text of this noted publication from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation is available from 1993 through the present.


  • Fighting the AIDS and HIV Epidemic: A Global Battle. Hinds MJ. 2008.
  • Eating Spring Rice: The Cultural Politics of AIDS in Southwest China. Hyde ST. 2007.
  • AIDS in the Twenty-first Century: Disease and Globalization. Barnett T. 2006.
  • My pet virus: the true story of a rebel without a cure. Decker S. 2006.
  • African AIDS Epidemic: A History. Iliffe J. 2006.
  • African American Women’s Health and Social Issues. Collins CF, ed. 2006.
  • AIDS in Africa: A Pandemic on the Move. Claton GJ, ed. 2006.
  • AIDS in the Twenty-first Century: Disease and Globalization. Barnett T. 2006.
  • Killing Us Quietly: Native Americans and HIV/AIDS. Vernon IS. 2001.
  • Living with HIV/AIDS: The Black Person’s Guide to Survival. Goosby E. 2004.
  • Not in My Family: AIDS in the African-American Community. Robert GL IV, ed. 2006.
  • Unframed: Artists Respond to AIDS. Forde JA. 2002.
  • You Get Past the Tears: A Memoir of Love and Survival. Broadbent P. 2002.


  • Don’t Shut Me Out. 25 min.
  • A City of Refuge. 56 min.
  • AIDS: Biological Perspective. 35 min.


  • HIV Virus.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Health Learning Center at 312-926-5465 or HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateApril 23, 2012