What is HIV/AIDS?

HIV & AIDS are a spectrum of conditions caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) are both retroviruses, which is a type of virus that inserts a copy of its RNA genome into the DNA of the host it invades. The viral DNA is treated by the host cells as a part of its own genome and is transcribed and translated along with the cells own genes, giving the virus what it needs to replicate.

How and when does HIV become AIDS?

HIV turns into AIDS in most of the infected people at some point, but AIDS can develop quicker or slower depending on some factors such your lifestyle or the medical treatment that you are having. You must pay attention if you smoke, drink more alcohol than recommended or have been infected with other sexual diseases as well, because all those factors can weaken your immune system.

HIV officially develops into AIDS when your T-cell count falls below 200 or 14%. – this means HIV has taken hold and caused your immune system to considerably weaken, leaving you vulnerable to more infections.

Transmission

You can contract HIV when blood, semen -including pre-cum- or vaginal secretions get in contact with your blood stream. Most HIV-infection cases occur from unprotected sex (vaginal, anal or oral) with a HIV+ person. But there are also other ways, like sharing needles/syringes or during pregnancy, childbirth or breast feeding if the mother is HIV +. All other social contacts are totally safe, as there are no other ways of HIV-infections apart from the ones mentioned above.
To finish, a common sense tip: use a new condom every time you have sex! Recycling is all good and well, but not when your health and that of your partner might be at stake.