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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
HIV and AIDS
How Is AIDS Created In The Body?
How is AIDS created in the body?
How is AIDS created in the body? The correspondent question has many possible interpretations. I will start by defining two terms. HIV and AIDS. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is not created in the body. It is acquired from other infected people by contact with their blood or bodily fluids, either by sex, sharing needles, or even splashes into the eyes or mucosal membranes. Once inside the infected person or host, HIV parasites and reproduces itself inside CD4 T cells.
T cells are specialized white blood cells important in the immune system, which defends the host from infection. The infection with HIV is life-long. After months or years of HIV infection the host starts running out of CD4 T cells, and his or her immune system starts malfunctioning. The host is prone to several serious infections. This stage is called AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. In summary, HIV is not created in the body, is acquired from somebody else, bu it reproduces in the body, and can be passed to yet another person. AIDS is a state of immune dysfunction, so is not created in the body, is the result of HIV infection on the CD4 T cells.
Francisco Gomez, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati