Donate to HIV Research, Patient Care and Education

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a viral disease that weakens a person’s immune system by destroying CD4 (T) calls that fight infection. Over time, HIV can develop into Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). As the disease progresses, the risk of infection from various illnesses increases significantly. Bacteria and viruses that would not affect fully functional immune systems can infect someone with HIV or AIDS much more easily and can have more severe consequences. While HIV and AIDS have their own symptoms, the most significant threats to a person’s health and life are the “opportunistic diseases” that are empowered by HIV and AIDS. When you make a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will become a source of vital support for the leading-edge HIV- and AIDS-related research and clinical care at Northwestern Medicine. Your generosity will help physician-scientists at Northwestern Medicine to better understand HIV and AIDS, and to develop more effective treatments.

There is currently no known cure for HIV and AIDS. However, medical treatment can bolster the immune system and can treat infections, greatly improving the quality and length of life for many patients. Your contribution to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will help to ensure that greater numbers of patients will have timely access to these much-needed treatments. In the absence of treatment, HIV develops through three distinct phases.

The first stage of HIV is known as Acute HIV Infection. During this stage, patients most commonly experience symptoms associated with influenza, also known as the flu. These include fever, chills, night sweats, and rashes. During this time, a person is highly contagious. This stage lasts approximately one month after infection. The second stage of the virus, known as Clinical Latency, or HIV Dormant, can last for months or years, and during this time, the patient may show no symptoms at all. Whether or not a person exhibits symptoms, however, he or she is still contagious. The third and final stage of HIV is AIDS. When a person is diagnosed with full-blown AIDS, his or her immune system is severely compromised, and he or she is more likely to be infected by opportunistic diseases. Symptoms associated with AIDS include swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, weight loss, short-term memory loss, frequent yeast infections, persistent rashes and one or more opportunistic diseases, such as lymphoma or tuberculosis.

The average life expectancy of a patient with AIDS is approximately three years. The earlier a person is diagnosed with HIV, the better the chances that he or she will not spread the infection to others. When you contribute to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help to advance the efforts of the dedicated scientists and clinicians at Northwestern Medicine who are working tirelessly to diagnose HIV in its earliest stages and to prevent the virus from spreading.

HIV Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Approximately 1.1 million people in the United States are currently living with HIV, 15 percent of whom are not aware that they are infected. Approximately 40,000 cases of HIV are diagnosed each year, but this number is trending downward, due in no small part to the daily work and the significant discoveries of scientists at Northwestern Medicine. With the help of your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, these scientists will continue to make progress in the quest to conquer HIV and AIDS. Your support also will help Northwestern Medicine’s HIV/AIDS specialists to continue to provide the most contemporary and most effective clinical care and supportive services to those affected by these illnesses. Through your generous support, you will help to move us all closer to a world without the plague of HIV and AIDS–and, in the meantime, you will improve the length of life, as well as the quality of life, for a great many people with HIV and AIDS.

Donate Now