Max Rady College of Medicine

Term: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Printer friendly

Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2012-12-03


"A virus that attacks the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness that leaves people vulnerable to opportunistic infections and cancers. When the body can no longer fight infection, the disease is known as AIDS, which stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. On average, it takes more than 10 years to progress from initial HIV infection to AIDS ... In order to be infected, the virus must enter a person's bloodstream (HIV cannot survive outside the body). HIV is transmitted from one person to another through: unprotected sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal or oral); shared needles or equipment for injecting drugs; unsterilized needles for tattooing, skin piercing or acupuncture; pregnancy, delivery and breast feeding (i.e., from an HIV-infected mother to her infant); occupational exposure in health care settings."

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada. What is HIV/AIDS? 2008. - accessed October 15, 2012.

Related concepts 

Related terms 



  • Public Health Agency of Canada. What is HIV/AIDS? Retrieved from: Accessed October 15, 2012.(View)

Term used in 

  • Brownell M, Chartier M, Santos R, Ekuma O, Au W, Sarkar J, MacWilliam L, Burland E, Koseva I, Guenette W. How are Manitoba's Children Doing? Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2012. [Report] [Summary] [Updates and Errata] [Additional Materials] (View)
  • Lix L, Smith M, Azimaee M, Dahl M, Nicol P, Burchill C, Burland E, Goh C, Schultz J, Bailly A. A Systematic Investigation of Manitoba's Provincial Laboratory Data. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2012. [Report] [Summary] (View)

Request information in an accessible format

If you require access to our resources in a different format, please contact us:

We strive to provide accommodations upon request in a reasonable timeframe.

Contact us

Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine,
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences,
Room 408-727 McDermot Ave.
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P5 Canada