HIV attacks CD4 cells, the white blood cells that fight infections. It uses them to make more HIV cells. This destroys the CD4 cells and puts the body at risk for serious infections or cancers.
Having HIV does not automatically mean a person has AIDS. It becomes AIDS when CD4 cell counts get too low and the patient develops a serious infection or cancer.
There are no cures, but there are treatments to help keep HIV patients healthy and slow down AIDS.