Cancers Common In People With Hiv Infection
Kaposi sarcoma Kaposi Sarcoma Kaposi sarcoma is a skin cancer that causes multiple flat pink, red, or purple patches or bumps on the skin. It is caused by human herpesvirus type 8 infection. One or a few spots may appear… read more , a cancer caused by a sexually transmitted herpesvirus, appears as painless, red to purple, raised patches on the skin. It occurs mainly in men who have sex with men.
Cancers of the immune system . Often, lymph nodes in the neck, under the arms, or in the groin enlarge rapidly and painlessly… read more ) may develop, sometimes first appearing in the brain. When the brain is affected, these cancers can cause weakness of an arm or a leg, headache, confusion, or personality changes.
Having AIDS increases the risk of other cancers. They include cancer of the cervix, anus, testes, and lungs as well as melanoma and other skin cancers. Men who have sex with men are prone to developing cancer of the rectum due to the same human papillomaviruses Human Papillomavirus Infection Human papillomavirus causes warts. Some types of HPV cause skin warts, and other types cause genital warts . Infection with some HPV… read more that cause cancer of the cervix in women.
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Hiv Infection: How Hiv Infects The Body
The goal for all infectious diseases is to find a drug that can quickly eradicate the infecting pathogen, such as anti-biotics, or a vaccine that can prevent the infections from ever taking root in the body. For HIV, we do not yet have either of these options available as current drugs used for treatment are effective at keeping the virus down but not out. To understand why there isnt yet a cure, its important to know how HIV infects the body.HIV infection can only take hold if the virus finds its way into the blood stream. It can be transmitted through unprotected vaginal and anal sex, injections with needles with HIV present or through mixing blood.
HIV-infected H9 T cell | NIAID
HIV on Bridges Between Infected Immune Cell and Uninfected Brain Cell | NIH Image Gallery
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Charles Abrahams practices as a qualified attorney-at-law with specialist experience in business and human rights law, sovereign debt, complex class action litigation, public interest and human rights law, and competition law. He is a senior partner at Abrahams Kiewitz Incorporated. He frequently participates in and is often invited to contribute to domestic and international conferences and seminars.
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Can Hiv Be Prevented
To reduce the risk of getting HIV, people who are sexually active should:
- use a condom every time they have sex
- get tested for HIV and make sure all partners do too
- reduce their number of sexual partners
- get tested and treated for STDs having an STD increases the risk of HIV infection
- consider taking a medicine every day if they are at very high risk of getting infected
- Do not inject drugs or share any kind of needle.
- Do not share razors or other personal objects that may touch blood.
- Do not touch anyone else’s blood from a cut or sore.
Hiv Is An Infection That Can Lead To Aids
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Its a virus that breaks down certain cells in your immune system . When HIV damages your immune system, its easier to get really sick and even die from infections that your body could normally fight off.
About 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, and more than 38,000 new infections happen every year. Most people with HIV dont have any symptoms for many years and feel totally fine, so they might not even know they have it.
Once you have HIV, the virus stays in your body for life. Theres no cure for HIV, but medicines can help you stay healthy. HIV medicine lowers or even stops your chances of spreading the virus to other people. Studies show that using HIV treatment as directed can lower the amount of HIV in your blood so much that it might not even show up on a test when this happens, you cant transmit HIV through sex.Treatment is really important . Without treatment, HIV can lead to AIDS. But with medicine, people with HIV can live long, healthy lives and stop the spread of HIV to others.
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During Hiv Infection Cd4 T Cells In Lymphoid Tissues Initiate A Highly Inflammatory Form Of Cell Death That Helps Cripple The Immune System
HIV-infected T cellFLICKR, NIAIDHIV leads to AIDS primarily because the virus destroys essential immune cells called CD4 T cells, but precisely how these cells are killed has not been clear. Two papers published simultaneously today in Nature and Science reveal the molecular mechanisms that cause the death of most CD4 T cells in lymphoid tissues, the main reservoir for such cells, during infection.
Two research teams led by Warner Greene at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco have demonstrated that the vast majority of CD4 T cells in lymphoid tissues, despite their ability to resist full infection by HIV, respond to the presence of viral DNA by sacrificing themselves via pyroptosisa highly inflammatory form of cell death that lures more CD4 T cells to the area, thereby creating a vicious cycle that ultimately wreaks havoc on the immune system.
Its really elegant science, said Anthony Fauci…
Richard Koup, who leads the immunology lab at the Vaccine Research Center at the NIH, agreed: For years weve just said HIV infects the cells and kills them, but its clearly more complicated than that. These papers start to delineate the multiple different mechanisms that HIV might have to kill CD4 T cells.
G. Doitsh et al., Cell death by pyroptosis drives CD4 T-cell depletion in HIV-1 infection, Nature, doi:10.1038/nature12940, 2013.
Stages Of Hiv Infection
On contraction of HIV, individuals may remain asymptomatic for a long period of time or experience flu-like symptoms called acute retroviral syndrome in about 2-4 weeks. This stage of primary infection is called acute infection, and is characterized by active multiplication of the virus and reduction of T-helper cells. Frequent fever, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and gastrointestinal problems are some of the common symptoms. In this stage, the immune response against the virus helps to limit viral multiplication, and the counts of T-helper cells increase to normal. Antibodies are generated against HIV and are present in the blood of infected individuals, which serves as a diagnostic criteria for HIV infection.
However, the body is unable to get rid of the virus, and it persists in an inactive state. This stage is termed clinical latency, and can last for 1-2 years or even 15 years. This time period depends on several factors including the individuals immune strength, diet, age, medical history, and prevailing medical conditions . Nevertheless, the virus cannot be controlled forever by the immune system, and the viral replication increases, in turn affecting the T-helper cells. In addition, the death of uninfected T-helper cells and cytotoxic T-cells has also been observed in HIV patients.
The stages of HIV infection, as identified by the World Health Organization , along with the corresponding T-helper cell counts are as summarized below.
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Simplified Life Cycle Of The Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Like all viruses, human immunodeficiency virus reproduces using the genetic machinery of the cell it infects, usually a CD4+ lymphocyte.
Drugs used to treat HIV infection were developed based on the life cycle of HIV. These drugs inhibit the three enzymes that the virus uses to replicate or to attach to and enter cells.
HIV also infects other cells, such as cells in the skin, brain, genital tract, heart, and kidneys, causing disease in those organs.
Antiretroviral Treatment And The Hiv Lifecycle
Antiretroviral treatment for HIV combines several different types of drugs, each of which targets a different stage in the HIV lifecycle. This means that the replication of HIV is stopped on multiple fronts, making it very effective.
If taken correctly, it keeps the immune system healthy, prevents the symptoms and illnesses associated with AIDS from developing, and means that people can enjoy long and healthy lives.
If someone doesnt take their treatment correctly or consistently , the level of HIV in their blood may increase and the drugs may no longer work. This is known as developing drug resistance.
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Hiv Takes Control Of T Cells
Once inside the cell, the capsid dissolves, liberating the viral RNA and the reverse transcriptase. Now, in order to infect the cell, the viral RNA needs to travel into the T cell’s nucleus . However, for that to happen, an important transformation needs to take place.
Normally, the T cell’s nucleus communicates with the rest of the cell by transforming DNA into RNA and sending it out of the nucleus. The genetic material’s passport to leave the nucleus is to be transformed into single-stranded RNA. In the same fashion, the passport to enter the nucleus is to be transformed into double-stranded DNA.
Viral RNA needs to become DNA in order to start the replication process. Reverse transcriptase allows the RNA to borrow material from the cell and to “write backwards” a chain of viral DNA.
HIV is considered a retrovirus because of its capacity to transform RNA into DNA, reversing the natural process that takes place in cells. This is accomplished by the reverse transcriptase. Retroviruses are a special family of viruses to which only a few known viruses belong .
Reverse Transcription And Integration
The viral capsid contains the enzymes necessary for the synthesis of new viral particles from the RNA strands by using cellular machinery of the host cell. One of these enzymes is the reverse transcriptase that synthesizes a double stranded DNA molecule from the existing viral ssRNA. The enzyme first creates a single stranded DNA from viral ssRNA, which is termed as reverse transcription. Using this DNA strand as a template, the enzyme then creates the second strand of DNA molecule, thus giving rise to a dsDNA molecule. The virus does not have its own set of nucleotide bases, and uses those present in the cytoplasm of the T-helper cells.
The dsDNA is tightly bound to a viral enzyme called integrase, and is transported into the nucleus by the cellular transport machinery of T-helper cells. Inside the nucleus, integrase enables the integration of the viral DNA into the DNA of T-helper cells. Using this mechanism the virus can hide and stay in the body in a latent state for several years.
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Cellular And Humoral Immunity
Your body uses different cells to attack and break down an infection. There are two main ways that your body does this:
Humoral immunity is based on antibodies.
- In response to an infection you body makes antibodies to identify and sometimes destroy the foreign particles.
- HIV is routinely diagnosed using an antibody test. This looks for evidence of the bodys response to HIV. This response usually takes 2-3 weeks from infection to develop, but can take several months and occasionally longer.
Cellular immune responses are based on CD4 and CD8 responses.
Generally your body uses cellular immunity to fight viruses, and to fight HIV.
- T cells are a type of white blood cell . The two main types of T cells are CD4+ cells and CD8+ cells . The plus sign is used in medical literature but in everyday language they are referred to as CD4 and CD8 cells.
- CD4 cells are sometimes called helper cells because they help the immune response by sending signals to CD8 cells.
- CD8 cells are sometimes called killer cells because they recognise and kill cells that are infected with a virus
Sometimes these cell processes and functions overlap.
Macrophages are another type of larger white blood cell. Macrophages engulf or swallow up infectious organisms or waste material from dead cells. They also send signals to activate other cells in the immune system.
Hiv: How Does Hiv Invade My Cells
A virus is a parasite. It cannot survive on its own.
Viruses are not plants, animals, or bacteria, but they are the living kingdoms parasites. Viruses are not technically alive: They are like a brain without a body. To make more copies of itself, a virus must hijack our cells and use them to make new viruses. Without a host cell, viruses cannot carry out their life-sustaining functions or reproduce. Well-known diseases caused by viruses are different types of flu, Ebola, smallpox, HIV, Hepatitis, Rabies and Herpes, to name a few.
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Hiv Hides In Immune System Cells Resistant To Killer T Cells
Dr. Brad Jones. Credit: John Abbott
Scientists have known for years that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is difficult to cure because it hides from the bodys immune system. Research now reveals that the virus conceals itself in lymphocytes, or white blood cells, that are intrinsically hard to kill because they are resistant to killer T cells, according to a new study by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators.
The resistance of these cells might be one aspect of HIV that weve missed in our efforts to cure infection, said Dr. Brad Jones, an associate professor of immunology in medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Weill Cornell Medicine and senior author of the paper published April 13 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
About 1.1 million people in the United States currently have HIV, and 38,000 new infections occur each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While antiretroviral medications can suppress the virus for life, making HIV a manageable chronic condition, what remains to be done is to actually cure infection, Dr. Jones said.
In their new research, Dr. Jones and his colleagues have discovered that the virus not only hides. It also endures in reservoir cells because they have developed resistance to being eliminated by killer T cells, which are produced by the bodys immune system and target and destroy cells infected by HIV and other viruses.
Dr. Yanqin Ren
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How Hiv Suppresses The Immune System
To understand how HIV damages the immune system, we have to dive into some pretty scientific concepts.
The genetic makeup of an HIV viral cell has genetic material called RNA which helps it to reproduce more cells. For HIV cells to replicate, they need to latch onto healthy white blood cells called T cells. These cells contain certain proteins which HIV needs to duplicate itself and grow.
Your bodys immune system produces T cells to fight off infections but when an HIV cell takes hold, it will destroy the T cell to reproduce.
So, when a person is exposed to HIV, these cells will start to slowly reproduce in the body. The immune system will naturally pump out more T cells to try and fight off the virus but these cells will be destroyed by the HIV cells.
Eventually, this will leave the bodys immune system overwhelmed and totally defenseless to any disease. Once the bodys immune system is significantly weakened, then they may be diagnosed with AIDS, which stands for Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome. This progression of HIV to AIDS occurs over 5 to 10 years if the person does not receive any treatment.