The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) affects cells in the immune system. Once enough of these cells are destroyed by HIV, the body is less able to fight infections or disease. If left untreated, HIV can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Currently, there is no cure for HIV. There are, however, very effective treatments for HIV known as antiretroviral therapy or ART. ART is recommended for everyone who  has HIV, as its can dramatically prolong the lives of many people living with HIV.  People who take ART daily as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner. 

Have questions about HIV or other STDs? Call the State of Illinois AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline at 1-800-AID-AIDS (1-800-243-2437).


Approximately 28,000 people live with HIV/AIDS in Chicago. Learn more about STI/HIV testing and treatment options.

Check out these HIV/AIDS milestones from the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.