Definition of AIDS in English:


(also Aids)


mass noun
  • A disease in which there is a severe loss of the body's cellular immunity, greatly lowering the resistance to infection and malignancy.

    • ‘It is also, as is increasingly the case, a country where HIV and Aids are widespread.’
    • ‘He said, hesitantly, that he thought she had done a lot for people with Aids and he had had friends who died of Aids.’
    • ‘Four times as many Americans die of the flu each year now than they do of Aids.’
    • ‘A vaccine for malaria or Aids would be a longer time coming without them.’
    • ‘The women also manufacture and administer a health drink to people infected with Aids.’
    • ‘Researchers are concerned that the way in which HIV and Aids is taught in schools adds to the stigma.’
    • ‘Finally, a landmark in the history of HIV and Aids gave a signal for optimism.’
    • ‘The Aids pandemic in some rural areas has led to famine, that is affecting millions of people.’
    • ‘A person is said to have Aids when the immune system starts to fail and cannot fend off infections.’
    • ‘What might have been a story about dying of Aids became a story about living with HIV.’
    • ‘In addition, using birth control, particularly condoms, would help stop the spread of Aids.’
    • ‘Councillors hope the move will help cut the borough's rising rates of HIV and Aids.’
    • ‘As the slogan goes in Australia, just remember, Aids doesn't discriminate, people do.’
    • ‘Powell said entire generations were at risk from Aids and other infectious diseases.’
    • ‘That is a higher fatality rate than heart disease, Aids and car accidents.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most important area of this debate, however, relates to the early epidemiology of Aids.’
    • ‘Malaria kills more people than Aids in Africa, but this fact never seems to grab the headlines.’
    • ‘To gain any knowledge of the nature of HIV / Aids it is necessary to dip into a wide spectrum of subjects.’
    • ‘But Aids is a major issue made worse by the chaos and the lack of structure in the society.’
    • ‘In her speech, she paid tribute to volunteers who take time to care for people living with Aids.’

AIDS was first identified in the early 1980s and now affects millions of people. The cause is a virus (called the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV) transmitted in blood and in sexual fluids, and although the incubation period may be long and treatment can slow the course of the disease there is currently no cure or vaccine. In the developed world the disease first spread among homosexuals, intravenous drug users, and recipients of infected blood transfusions, before reaching the wider population. This has tended to overshadow a greater epidemic in parts of Africa, where transmission is mainly through heterosexual contact


1980s: acronym from acquired immune deficiency syndrome.