AIDS—acquired immunodeficiency syndrome—refers to a group of symptoms that result from infection with the human immunodeficiency virus. The virus attacks the immune system, taking away the body’s ability to protect itself. Since the early 1980s, AIDS has killed millions of people. Author Maurene Hinds explains how this disease first emerged and the devastation it has caused. She discusses ways to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, and she looks at the possible future course of the illness as well as its impact on our world.