Patient & Visitor InformationContact Us
  • Infection Diseases & Immunology Center
    The Miriam Hospital
    1125 North Main Street
    Providence, RI 02904
    Tele.: 401-793-2928
    Fax: 401-793-7401
  • I am HIV positive. Do I have AIDS?

  • AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is the most serious outcome of HIV infection. Being HIV positive is not the same as having AIDS, but it means that you may develop AIDS in the future. HIV attacks your immune system, gradually harming the way it functions.

    Your immune system protects your body from harmful germs like viruses or bacteria. Over time, if your immune system becomes seriously damaged by HIV, your body loses its ability to fight certain infections and cancers.

    AIDS occurs once the immune system has been significantly damaged. You will need to have more medical tests to determine how strong your immune system is and if you have AIDS.

  • More Frequently Asked HIV Questions

    JSI logoThis material was developed by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., and funded by a Centers for Disease Control Prevention grant.