HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that invades the body's immune system. There is currently no cure for HIV; however, people with HIV can live long and healthy lives with proper medical management. Symptoms of HIV resemble flu-like symptoms and typically occur within four weeks after infection. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, chills, fatigue and muscle aches. If untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). AIDS is the most severe phase of HIV. People with AIDS have badly damaged immune systems, experience frequent illness and have short life expectancies. Fortunately, due to advancements in medical technologies, most people with HIV do not develop AIDS. The World Health Organization recommends a four-stage system when treating people with HIV/AIDS. This staging system helps occupational therapists to choose interventions according to the degree of disease progression. In Stage One, a person is typically asymptomatic and requires educational and preventative approaches. People benefit from rehabilitative, remedial, vocational interventions in Stages Two and Three. For people in Stage Four, the most severe disease state, palliative care interventions occur. Some important principles of HIV/AIDS interventions include: restore and maintain previously engaged roles and responsibilities promote the participation of meaningful activities that bring joy and happiness facilitation of autonomy and self-control, including stress and pain management strategies educate and promote the benefits of a healthy and balanced lifestyle acknowledge and discuss the need for emotional mourning HIV/AIDS is a complicated and challenging area of healthcare. Due to holistic approaches, occupational therapists are well-positioned to significantly impact a person with HIV and their families quality of life. For more information about HIV/AIDS and occupational therapy, please refer to the reference below. Reference: Crouch, Rosemary, and Vivyan Alers. Occupational Therapy in Psychiatry and Mental Health . John Wiley & Sons, 2014.