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Future Solutions to HIV AIDS

Satisfactory Essays
Introduction to HIV What is HIV? First Things First: What is HIV? The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is one of the most evasive viruses that the medical world has to experience. We use the word evasive because HIV targets the CD4 cells (T-helper cells), which are the exact cells that are used to protect your body against diseases. Once HIV enters the body, it will infect the CD4 cells and begin to use those cells as its own “HIV factory.” HIV will therefore begin to destroy your immune system leaving you susceptible to opportunistic diseases. HIV targets your immune system... What does HIV infect and how? HIV affects your immune system. Your immune system can be thought of as your body’s defense line! In which, you have millions of 'soldiers' (T-helper cells) helping you ward off almost any foreign invaders. Now, it is important to note that just like in a army defense line, your body also has different levels of protection. Introduction to HIV Cont. Your skin is the first line of defense... • First line of defense: the skin o Your skin is an amazing organ, which helps you ward off invaders from the outside. Special cells called Dendritic cells and macrophages are white blood cells that try to fight off infection before it becomes a major problem. T-Cells of the humoral immune response are the second line of defense... • Second line of defense: T-Cells o Once a virus has invaded the body, T-Cells (CD4 cells) relay signals to the rest of the immune system, which causes the immune system to activate by sending out the “reinforcements.” These T-killer cells (CD8 cells) do exactly what the name suggests, they “kill” almost any foreign invader, through apoptosis or programmed cell death. Other CD4 activated cells are part of your body's line of defenses... • Other Cells activated by CD4 Cells o B-Cells- Once activated, B-cells / Plasma cells begin producing antibodies against a virus o Natural Killer Cells (NK)- Help your body by destroying infected cells Introduction to HIV Cont. All viruses must be able to bind to a cell in order to enter it. In the case of HIV, the virus has a cell membrane with embedded viral proteins that enables it to do so, but this works only when it binds with two specific receptors. One is called the main receptor, and the other a coreceptor. There are two types of HIV; M-tropic and T-tropic. The M-tropic variant targets macrophages while the T-tropic variant targets the T cells.
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