What is AIDS? AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. A person living with HIV is said to have AIDS if their immune system becomes weakened by HIV to a severe extent where it causes a number of specific illnesses, for example Kaposi sarcoma or recurrent pneumonia. With correct treatment it’s possible to recover from having AIDS, which means the physical illnesses have gone away although the person will still have HIV.In the 1980s and early 1990s before treatments were available the term AIDS was used frequently. The effectiveness of treatments means that very few people living with HIV go on to develop AIDS in Scotland anymore.