Hiv And The Human Immunodeficiency Virus Essay

1112 Words Apr 11th, 2016 5 Pages
What is HIV?

The human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes HIV infection and over time acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and is a life threatening disease to live with. AIDS is a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive. Without treatment, average survival time after infection with HIV is estimated 9 to 11 years, depending on the HIV subtype. Infection with HIV arises by the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, and birth or breast milk. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells. HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system. Without a strong immune system, the body has trouble fighting off disease. Both the virus and the infection it causes are called HIV.

HIV infects vital cells in the human immune system such as helper T cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells. “HIV leads to low levels of CD4+ T cells through a number of mechanisms, including Pyro ptosis of abortively infected T cells. Lentiviruses have many morphologies and biological properties in common. Many species are infected by lentiviruses, which are responsible for long-duration illnesses with a long incubation period.” White blood cells are a vital part of the immune system. HIV infects and destroys the white blood cells called CD4+ cells. If too many CD4+ cells are impaired, the body can no longer defend…

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