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AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the final and most serious stage of HIV disease, which causes severe damage to the immune system. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes AIDS. The virus attacks the immune system and leaves the body vulnerable to a variety of life-threatening infections and cancers.
HIV has been detected in saliva, tears, nervous system tissue, blood, semen (including pre-seminal fluid), vaginal fluid, and breast milk. However, only blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk have been proven to transmit infection to others.
Transmission of the virus occurs:
Other much less common transmission methods include accidental needle injury, artificial insemination with donated semen, and through a donated organ.