Your body has some power to fight disease. This is called your body's immune system. HIV is a virus that weakens the body's immune system or power to fight disease. HIV can pass from one person to another through body fluids like blood, semen, vaginal secretions, or a mother's breast milk.
HIV causes AIDS but not everyone who has HIV looks sick. It can take from two to ten or more years before someone who is HIV+ becomes sick with AIDS. The only way to find out if someone has HIV is for them to get tested for the virus.
HIV can pass from one person to another through unprotected sex with someone who is infected with HIV. HIV can pass from one person to another through sharing needles for drugs. HIV can also pass from a mother to her baby during pregnancy (before the baby is born) or through breast feeding, from the mother's milk. But only about 1/3 of babies of HIV+ mothers are infected this way.
Right now, there is no way to cure AIDS. People who become infected with HIV, become sick with AIDS after six months to ten years. Eventually, they die. There are some medicines to fight AIDS, but nothing yet that cures it. Scientists around the world are trying to find a cure for AIDS.
The main way that HIV is passed from person to person is through unprotected sex with a person who is HIV infected. Thinking carefully about sex, discussing sex with your partner and trying to have safe sex (for example using a condom during sex) are some ways that HIV infection can be reduced.