MAR 09, 2016 07:46 AM PST

The Mechanics of HIV/AIDS

5 3 1343

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, attacks a vital group of white blood cells in the body, the T-cells. These cells are on the front lines of the body's immune system and normally will fight off infection. The problem is that HIV cells are coated in glycoproteins that "trick" the T-cells into not recognizing them as a threat. The HIV cells then begin multiplying at a high rate, releasing specific RNA strands and enzymes that transform into DNA. Once transformed, the cells are treated like the body's own cells and not fought off.

This process can be latent for years, but once the amount of T-cells drops to a certain level, the immune system cannot fight off infections, and the disease progresses to AIDS. No one actually dies from AIDS, they die from cancers or infections the body could not defeat. Certain drugs can delay the onset of AIDS, but none are effective at wiping out the virus.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
JUL 05, 2018
Videos
JUL 05, 2018
Can Food Be Prescribed?
Hippocrates, the father of medicine was famous for saying, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” and what he meant was that eating
JUL 25, 2018
Videos
JUL 25, 2018
Is Your Brain Completely Unconscious During Anesthesia?
For surgical procedures, anesthesia is a necessary part of patient care. Anesthesia is thought to render a patient unconscious, but according to new r
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
Is Earth Running Out of Helium?
If current global demand continues, we can face a shortage of helium within the next 40 years. Helium is the second most common element after hydrogen
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
What does sunscreen look like with a UV camera?
  Have you ever wondered if there’s really a difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50? You’re not the only one. YouTuber Physics Girl set out
AUG 15, 2018
Videos
AUG 15, 2018
What Your Doodles Say About You
During a boring meeting, a teleconference or a less-than-interesting class, many of us will doodle mindlessly on paper. It’s a way of passing the tim
AUG 15, 2018
Videos
AUG 15, 2018
CBD Being Used in Stem Cell Research
CDKL5 (cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5) is a gene that is found on the X-chromosome, mutations to this gene lead to a rare genetic disorder. Scientists
Loading Comments...