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How Does Hiv Affect The Immune System

Aids: The Silent Killer

HIV: Basic Function of Immune System

commonly known sexually transmitted diseases. The last stages of HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, are what we know as AIDS, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV is similar to other viruses like the flu or common cold except the human immune system cannot destroy the virus. The virus can hide in the cells of the body for long periods of time and attacks important parts of the immune system like T-cells or CD4 cells. Once HIV destroys a lot of CD4 cells the human body can no longer fight against

What Are The Factors That Affect Disease Progression

The most important factor affecting HIV progression is the ability to achieve viral suppression. Taking antiretroviral therapy regularly helps many people slow the progression of HIV and reach viral suppression.

However, a variety of factors affect HIV progression, and some people progress through the phases of HIV more quickly than others.

Factors that affect HIV progression can include:

  • Ability to achieve viral suppression. Whether someone can take their antiretroviral medications and achieve viral suppression is the most important factor by far.
  • Age when symptoms start. Being older can result in faster progression of HIV.
  • Health before treatment. If a person had other diseases, such as tuberculosis, hepatitis C, or other sexually transmitted diseases , it can affect their overall health.
  • Timing of diagnosis. Another important factor is how soon a person was diagnosed after they contracted HIV. The longer between their diagnosis and treatment, the more time the disease has to progress unchecked.
  • Lifestyle. Practicing an unhealthy lifestyle, such as having a poor diet and experiencing severe stress, can cause HIV to progress more quickly.
  • Genetic history. Some people seem to progress more quickly through their disease given their genetic makeup.

Some factors can delay or slow the progression of HIV. These include:

Living a healthy lifestyle and seeing a healthcare provider regularly can make a big difference in a persons overall health.

Measuring Viral Load And Cd4 Count

Generally, you cant feel HIV in your body, and you cant feel your treatment working. For this reason, your doctor will use regular blood tests to check your viral load and CD4 count. Heres what your doctor is looking for:

  • Viral load: If your HIV medication is working, your viral load should stay fairly low. When viral load is low, you have a low risk of the disease progressing or transmitting the infection to others.
  • CD4 count: The goal is to keep the CD4 count around normal levels, which is above 500. This means you have normal levels of CD4 T cells, so your immune system is able to protect you against infections. Your CD4 count may go up and down slightly over time, but its a concern if it starts going up significantly. A CD4 count below 200 is classified as AIDS .

If your viral load stays low, and your CD4 count remains steady, that means your HIV treatment is working to keep your immune system working normally. Otherwise, it may be time to change your treatment regimen, or to make sure youre not making any treatment mistakes. Luckily, there is a wide range of HIV medications today, so if one doesnt work for you, there is likely another one that will.

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Exploration Of Hiv Essay

Exploration of HIV HIV infection is a worldwide outbreak a deadly disease affecting people everywhere. The spread of HIV infection has occurred on such a scale, and the impact of the disease is potentially so devastating to world health, that only a concerted, global response is appropriate. What is HIV? The human immunodeficiency virus is an organism known as a retrovirus. Like any virus, HIV must use the cells of another organism its host to survive

What Are The Treatments For Hiv/aids

Immunodeficiency disorders,2010

There is no cure for HIV infection, but it can be treated with medicines. This is called antiretroviral therapy . ART can make HIV infection a manageable chronic condition. It also reduces the risk of spreading the virus to others.

Most people with HIV live long and healthy lives if they get and stay on ART. It’s also important to take care of yourself. Making sure that you have the support you need, living a healthy lifestyle, and getting regular medical care can help you enjoy a better quality of life.

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Symptoms Of Hiv Infection

Most people experience a short flu-like illness 2 to 6 weeks after HIV infection, which lasts for a week or 2.

After these symptoms disappear, HIV;may not;cause any symptoms for many years, although the virus continues to damage your immune system.

This means many;people with HIV do not know they’re infected.

Anyone who thinks they could have HIV should get tested.

Some people are advised to have regular tests as they’re at particularly high risk.

How Are These Disorders Diagnosed

Based on an individuals medical history and findings from a general physical exam, a physician will conduct a thorough neurological exam to assess various functions: ;motor and sensory skills, nerve function, hearing and speech, vision, coordination and balance, mental status, and changes in mood or behavior. The physician may order laboratory tests andone or more of the following procedures to help diagnose neurological complications of AIDS.

Brain imaging can reveal signs of brain inflammation, tumors and CNS lymphomas, nerve damage, bleeding, white matter irregularities, and other abnormalities. Several painless imaging procedures are used to help diagnose neurological complications of AIDS.

  • Computed tomography uses x-rays and a computer to produce two-dimensional images of bone and tissue to show inflammation, certain brain tumors and cysts, brain damage from head injury, and other abnormalities. It provides more details than an x-ray alone.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging uses a computer-generated radio waves, and a powerful magnetic field to produce either a detailed three-dimensional picture or a two-dimensional slice of body structures, including tissues, organs, bones, and nerves. It does not use the ionizing radiation that an x-ray does and provides a better look at tissue located near bone.;;;;;;;

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Nature/causes Of Immune Dysregulation

The key events leading to the immune dysregulation observed during HIV-1 infection are still unknown. Although several hypotheses have been formulated through the years, the main challenge in identifying pivotal alterations in the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection is our inability to distinguish them from normal immune response to a chronic viral infection. What are the relevant pathogenic alterations that are directly caused by HIV-1 infection or exposure? Are these events specifically triggered by HIV-1 or are they also observed in other chronic infections? What cellular and molecular features of HIV-1 infection drive these alterations? These and other questions are considered in the next section of this review.

Can Hiv/aids Be Prevented

Immunology wars: The battle with HIV

You can reduce the risk of spreading HIV by

  • Getting tested for HIV
  • Choosing less risky sexual behaviors. This includes limiting the number of sexual partners you have and using latex condoms every time you have sex. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
  • Getting tested and treated for sexually transmitted diseases
  • Not injecting drugs
  • Talking to your health care provider about medicines to prevent HIV:
  • PrEP is for people who don’t already have HIV but are at very high risk of getting it. PrEP is daily medicine that can reduce this risk.
  • PEP is for people who have possibly been exposed to HIV. It is only for emergency situations. PEP must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV.

NIH: National Institutes of Health

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How Hiv Treatment Keeps Your Immune System Healthy

When the viral load goes up, your T cell count goes down.

One of the reasons that HIV is so dangerous is because it attacks the bodys own immune system. As the virus replicates, it attacks immune cells that help the body fight off illnesses. The result? Simple infections could become life threatening.

Luckily, todays HIV medications can prevent and reduce this damage to the immune system. The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy, or ART.

What Are Some Of The Neurological Complications That Are Associated With Hiv Infection

AIDS-related disorders of the nervous system may be caused directly by the HIV virus, by certain cancers and opportunistic infections , or by toxic effects of the drugs used to treat symptoms.; Other neuro-AIDS disorders of unknown origin may be influenced by but are not caused directly by the virus.

AIDS dementia complex , or HIV-associated dementia , occurs primarily in persons with more advanced HIV infection.; Symptoms include encephalitis , behavioral changes, and a gradual decline in cognitive function, including trouble with concentration, memory, and attention.; Persons with ADC also show progressive slowing of motor function and loss of dexterity and coordination.; When left untreated, ADC can be fatal. ;It is rare when anti-retroviral therapy is used. ;Milder cognitive complaints are common and are termed HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder . ;Neuropsychologic testing can reveal subtle deficits even in the absence of symptoms.

Central nervous system lymphomas;are cancerous tumors that either begin in the brain or result from a cancer that has spread from another site in the body.; CNS lymphomas are almost always associated with the Epstein-Barr virus .; Symptoms include headache, seizures, vision problems, dizziness, speech disturbance, paralysis, and mental deterioration.; Individuals may develop one or more CNS lymphomas.; Prognosis is poor due to advanced and increasing immunodeficiency, but is better with successful HIV therapy.

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What Are Hiv And Aids

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS . HIV attacks the immune system by destroying specific white blood cells called CD4 positive T cells that are vital to fighting off infection. The resulting shortage of these cells leaves people infected with HIV vulnerable to other infections and diseases, and additional complications.

AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection. A person infected with HIV is diagnosed with AIDS when he or she has a dangerously low number of CD4+ T cells as well as one or more opportunistic infections, such as some types of pneumonia or tuberculosis, that do not typically affect people with healthy immune systems.

Although HIV infection and AIDS primarily affect the immune system, they also disturb the nervous system and can lead to a wide range of severe neurological disorders, particularly if HIV goes untreated and progresses to AIDS. Many of the most severe neurological conditions can be prevented with antiretroviral therapy. However, even individuals who receive this treatment can develop less severe neurological and cognitive difficulties.

Targets The Bodys Immune System

How HIV Affects the Body: HIV Transmission, Disease ...

The human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that attacks the bodys immune system. Over time, and with significant damage to the immune system, it can become harder to fight off infections. When opportunistic infections or cancers begin to develop as a result of a weakened immune system, an individual is considered to have developed acquired immune deficiency syndrome , the most advanced stage of HIV. Before the introduction of antiretroviral therapy in the 1990s, an individual infected with HIV could progress to AIDS very quickly. But with early treatment with antiretroviral therapy, a person diagnosed with HIV can live nearly as long as someone without the disease.

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How Does Chronic Hiv Affect The Body

The chronic HIV stage is known as the latent or asymptomatic stage. During this stage, a person usually wont have as many symptoms as they did during the acute phase. This is because the virus doesnt multiply as quickly.

However, a person can still transmit HIV if the virus is left untreated and they continue to have a detectable viral load. Without treatment, the chronic HIV stage can last for many years before advancing to AIDS.

Advances in antiretroviral treatments have significantly improved the outlook for people living with HIV. With proper treatment, many people who are HIV-positive are able to achieve viral suppression and live long, healthy lives. Learn more about HIV and life expectancy.

A normal CD4 count ranges from approximately 500 to 1,600 cells per cubic millimeter of blood in healthy adults, according to

A person receives an AIDS diagnosis when they have a CD4 count of fewer than 200 cells/mm3.

A person may also receive an AIDS diagnosis if theyve had an opportunistic infection or another AIDS-defining condition.

People with AIDS are vulnerable to opportunistic infections and common infections that may include tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis, and pneumonia.

People with weakened immune systems are also more susceptible to certain types of cancer, such as lymphoma and cervical cancer.

The survival rate for people with AIDS varies depending on treatment and other factors.

Effects On The Immune System Of Anti

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
First Posted : August 31, 2001Last Update Posted : March 2, 2011
  • Study Details

The purpose of this study is to find out whether these powerful combinations of anti-HIV drugs are safe and effective for use in patients in the early stages of HIV infection and to find out how patients’ immune systems react to HIV and anti-HIV drugs.

Doctors generally treat patients in the early stages of HIV infection with the same anti-HIV drugs taken by patients who have had HIV for a long time. These drugs lower the level of HIV in the blood. However, doctors do not know whether patients who take anti-HIV drugs in the early stages of HIV infection actually live longer or have fewer AIDS-related diseases. This study will help doctors answer these questions. In the main study, doctors will look at how 2 different anti-HIV drug combinations affect the immune system. In the 2 substudies, doctors will look at how the body reacts to the hepatitis B vaccine and the tetanus vaccine. These substudies may help doctors learn how HIV-infected patients respond to new infections.

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Women With Hiv Are More Likely To Have An Anovulatory Cycle And Amenorrhea Or A Complete Absence Of A Menstrual Cycle

New Delhi: According to a report by World Health Organisation , AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, a well known fatal disease, can have serious repercussions on fertility as well, adding that the transmission rates of HIV virus from mother to the offspring range from 15% to 45%. Read:;Five most common STDs in men and women – Symptoms, how are they treated?

However, this rate can be reduced to below five percent with effective treatment during the cycle of pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding. These interventions primarily involve antiretroviral treatment.

“Prior to the initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy , the prospect of parenthood raised a number of issues for people with HIV. This included a high risk of transmission to a partner and to the infant as well. A woman with HIV may suffer from serious PID as the immune system is weakened. So, it’s better to prevent AIDS rather than treatment for fertility,” says Dr Priti Gupta, First Step IVF Clinic. Read:;13 warning signs of HIV you must know

Women with HIV are more likely to have an anovulatory cycle and amenorrhea, or a complete absence of a menstrual cycle. Moreover, HIV-infected women encounter a number of problems such as stress, weakened immune systems, weight loss, various sexually transmitted diseases, all of which may contribute to infertility.

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Hiv And Aids Are Something That Have Been A Major Problem In A Large Part Of The World For Many

How does your immune system work? – Emma Bryce

HIV and Aids are something that have been a major problem in a large part of the world for many years. These viruses have destroyed many families and have taken many peoples lives. There are many different ways for a person to receive the virus. As of today, there is still no cure for these horrible diseases. Until scientists and doctors are able to find a medicine that can cure them, many people will continue to be affected by these diseases. This research paper will break down each virus

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Hiv Effects On The Immune System

Your immune system has many types of white blood cells that fight infection. HIV gets inside a kind called CD4 cells and makes copies of itself. The virus kills the cell, and the new viruses go off to find more.

Your body responds by making more CD4 cells, but after a while, it canât keep up with the virus. This makes your immune system weak. Youâre more likely to get sick, even from common germs. Infections last longer, are more severe, and might come back more often.

If you follow your doctorâs directions with ART, it knocks out HIV, stopping it from infecting more CD4 cells and from weakening your immune system.

Insights Into How Hiv Evades Immune System

New details about how antibodies bind the human immunodeficiency virus may help bring researchers closer to creating an effective HIV vaccine.

Vaccines typically work by triggering the immune system to produce antibodies that help to beat infections. But most antibodies can’t latch onto and neutralize HIV. The proteins on the surface of the virus mutate rapidly and change shape continuously. They’re also covered with immune-evading carbohydrates called glycans.

NIH scientists recently focused on one of these HIV surface proteins, called gp120. HIV uses what are called envelope spikes, or trimers, to bind and infect cells. These spikes support three gp120 molecules, which HIV uses to grip and to gain entry into the cells it infects.

Researchers had a major breakthrough in 2007 when they identified an unchanging region of gp120 as a potential site of viral weakness. Further studies, however, found that the vast majority of antibodies that bound to this site don’t block HIV from infecting cells. Dr. Peter D. Kwong at the Vaccine Research Center of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases headed a research team investigating how the virus resists these antibodies.

Kwong points out that people with HIV can generate antibodies to this sitein fact, that’s how it was discovered in the first place. We just haven’t yet learned how to do that by vaccination, he says, but we’re working on it.

by Harrison Wein, Ph.D.

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