Difference Between HIV AIDS and Flu (With Table)

Both AIDS and Flu have similar causative agents, which is a virus. And like any other viral infection, they also share common symptoms; however, there exist stark differences in their pathology and transmission. People suffering from HIV AIDS are also very likely to have the Flu as well, and hence they can be easily confused.


The difference between HIV, AIDS and Flu is that they differ in their method of transmission of diseases and the pathology of disease as well. They may both be viral infections, but their causative viruses are also different from each other, and that is the reason why there also exists different symptoms for these diseases.

HIV AIDS or acquired immune deficiency syndrome is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus infection. It is a disease characterized by the lowering of immune response in the body, causing the body to catch any infection or disease much more easily than a normal person, eventually leading to death.

Flu, on the other hand, is caused by the influenza virus. This is a more common viral infection affecting individuals, mainly in the winters. It does not have any depressing effect on the immune system of the body, but in opposition, it triggers the immune response and hence is less severe than HIV AIDS.

Comparison Table Between HIV AIDS and Flu

Parameters of ComparisonHIV AIDSFlu
Causative AgentThe causative agent of HIV AIDS is HIV.The causative agent of Flu is the influenza virus strains.
Transmission ViaHIV AIDS is transmitted through any form of body fluid contact.Flu is transmitted through the air by droplets.
SymptomsInitially none but usually develops into pneumonia, flu, sarcoma and so on.Features similar to common cold.
Preventive MeasuresAvoid sexual contact with affected individual.Practice proper hygiene and use handkerchief while coughing.
VaccinationNo vaccination is available for HIV AIDS.Vaccination is available for Flu.

What is HIV AIDS?

Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the causative agent for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS. Today AIDS is a widespread global issue that is still stigmatized as it is not known by the common mass of people. HIV is an infection that compromises the immune system. AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, which is similar to HIV. It is spread when you come in contact with bodily fluids like the blood and semen of an already infected patient.

However, AIDS is the final stage of HIV, which is when the infection weakens the immune system sufficiently that the body can no longer fight off infections. AIDS patients are at greater risk of developing infections and cancer, both of which can be fatal. Scientists are researching ways to halt the progression to AIDS, but until then, the only way to avoid contracting HIV is to practice safe sex.

Several symptoms could signal a person has HIV AIDS. Many people say the symptoms are similar to flu symptoms, but there’s a range of other symptoms that can develop from having HIV AIDS. The symptoms tend to be worse in the later stages of the virus. The symptoms include fever, sores in the throat, itchy skin, and a rash. In some rare cases, a person will experience a swollen lymph node, pneumonia, or a skin infection.

They can also experience a decrease in appetite, weight loss, headaches, a dry cough, diarrhoea, a sore throat, a stuffy nose, fatigue, and a fever. If you’re at a higher risk of getting HIV AIDS, you should get tested regularly for symptoms. Be sure to see your doctor if you suspect you’re at risk.

What is Flu?

Flu is an illness of the respiratory system of the body. It is also referred to as influenza. Influenza is an infectious disease caused by viruses. It is of viral origin, of viral aetiology. Influenza is of viral pathogenesis. The disease can affect animals and human beings. The disease can affect birds, pigs, horses, dogs, cats, goats, cows, sheep, rabbits, chickens, humans, etc. Influenza is an acute viral infectious disease.

It is caused by the influenza virus of strains A, B and C, for example, H3N2, H2N2 and so on. Flu is an infection of the lungs or respiratory tract caused by different types of influenza viruses. Depending on the type of flu you have, symptoms can include fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headache, chills, extreme fatigue, and weakness.

This disease can be very serious, especially in young children, older adults, or people with other medical conditions. It’s important to seek medical attention if you think you have symptoms of flu. Also, it has 5 stages that are: Pre-latent period, Activation period, Enhancement period, Peak period, and Resolution period.

There are certain groups of people that are at higher risk for getting the flu and having severe complications, such as children. It’s important to get the flu shot every year and to maintain hand hygiene and prevent spreading germs to other people.

Main Differences Between HIV AIDS and Flu

  1. When affected by HIV, it leads to immune system depression due to reduction in CD4 helper cells and B cells and CT cells, but in case of infection with influenza virus, an inflammatory response is elicited, meaning the immune system is rather triggered than suppressed.
  2. HIV AIDs is a much more severe disease with no cure and only management techniques, while common flu is curable and have vaccine shots available for treatment.
  3. A common treatment for HIV AIDs is antiretroviral therapy, while for the flu, yearly shots are recommended in some parts of the world.
  4. HIV AIDS is spread through sexual contact while flu is not.
  5. HIV Aids is not transmitted through touch or air, but flu can be transmitted through the air by droplets.


Both HIV AIDs are viral infections affecting the human body derogatorily. HIV AIDS is often considered taboo in parts of the work, and patients have almost been deemed untouchables; however, this stigma must be removed by proper education of the masses regarding the disease and its method of transmission.

Common flu, on the other hand, is often seen in almost half of the population at least once a year, especially in the winter, which is why flu is also called seasonal flu. With proper education, the two diseases can easily be set apart from each other. However, patients with AIDs are often seen to be more prone to flu.


  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/35073639
  2. https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA600067982&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=00280836&p=AONE&sw=w
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