Beware of the home HIV tests you may see advertised.Only one such test, the "Home Access Express HIV-1 Test System," has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

HIV-infected pregnant or post-partum women had around eight times higher mortality than did their HIV-uninfected counterparts.

On the basis of this estimate, we predict that roughly 24% of deaths in pregnant or post-partum women are attributable to HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, suggesting that safe motherhood programmes should pay special attention to the needs of HIV-infected pregnant or post-partum women.

Today AIDS is the fifth leading cause of death among American adults aged 25 to 44.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, more than a million cases of AIDS have been reported since the disease's discovery, and as many as 1.1 million people in the United States may have the virus that causes it.

In November 2002, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new rapid HIV test that gives results in about 20 minutes, with 99.6 percent accuracy.

Since, according to the FDA, about 8,000 people a year don't return for their HIV test results, this new test will help people learn about their illness and begin treatment immediately.

These cells, called CD4 T lymphocytes (or T-cells), battle infections caused by bacteria and viruses -- but up to one billion of them may be killed by HIV every day.

The virus causes AIDS when it destroys so many T-cells that it ruins your body's defense system, leaving you unable to fight off other illnesses (pneumonia, tuberculosis, or certain cancers, for instance).

For this reason, few diagnoses caused more fear and dismay.