Hiv Affects The Immune System – Medical Review by Cameron White, MD, MPH – Written by Anne Pietrangelo and Christine Charney – Updated June 30, 2023
HIV destroys CD4 cells, which are responsible for keeping people healthy and protecting them from disease and infection. Signs and symptoms may appear as HIV gradually weakens the body’s natural defenses.
- 1 Hiv Affects The Immune System
- 1.1 The Immune System: Cells, Tissues, Function, And Disease
- 1.2 Hiv And Aids
- 1.3 Hiv 1 Cellular And Tissue Replication Patterns In Infected Humanized Mice
- 2 Amazon.com: Hiv/aids: Death Of An Immune System Easel Display
Hiv Affects The Immune System
HIV targets the types of cells that normally fight off invaders like HIV. As the virus multiplies, it damages or destroys the CD4 cells it infects, producing more virus to infect more CD4 cells. CD4 cells are also called T cells or helper cells.
Hiv/aids: Differences, Symptoms, Stages, And Treatment
Without treatment, this cycle continues until your immune system is severely compromised, putting you at risk of serious illness and infection.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the last stage of HIV. At this stage, the immune system becomes very weak and the risk of contracting opportunistic infections is very high.
However, not all people infected with HIV develop AIDS. The earlier the treatment, the better the prognosis.
The immune system protects the body from disease and illness. White blood cells protect the body from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens that can make you sick.
The Immune System: Cells, Tissues, Function, And Disease
A few days after contracting the virus, people with HIV may experience flu-like symptoms that last for several weeks. This is associated with the first phase of HIV, called the acute infectious phase or dangerous HIV.
At this stage, people living with HIV rarely have severe symptoms, but there is often a high viral load in the blood because the virus multiplies rapidly.
The next stage is called the chronic infection stage. It will last 10 to 15 years. People living with HIV may or may not show symptoms at this stage.
Another possible complication is Kaposi’s sarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessel walls. Although rare in most people, it is more common in people with advanced HIV.
Symptoms include red or dark purple sores in the mouth and on the skin. It can also cause problems with your lungs, digestive tract, and other internal organs.
HIV and AIDS also increase the risk of developing lymphoma. The first symptom of lymphoma is swelling of the lymph nodes.
HIV makes it harder to fight respiratory infections like colds and flu. Second, people living with HIV can develop related diseases such as pneumonia.
If HIV is not treated, as the disease progresses, people living with HIV are at greater risk of infectious complications such as tuberculosis and a fungal infection called Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PJP).
Infectious Disease With A Focus On Hiv
The chance of developing lung cancer also increases with HIV infection. This is caused by weak lungs due to various respiratory problems related to weak immunity.
People with HIV are more likely to have high blood pressure. HIV also increases the risk of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). PAH is a form of high blood pressure in the arteries that supply blood to the lungs. Over time, PAH can put strain on the heart and cause heart failure.
Tuberculosis is an airborne virus that attacks the lungs. It is the leading cause of death in AIDS patients. Symptoms include chest pain and a severe cough that may contain blood or phlegm. The cough may last for months.
HIV affects the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections that can affect the digestive system.
Hiv Or Aids
Intestinal problems can also reduce appetite, making it difficult to eat properly. As a result, weight loss is a common side effect of HIV.
A common infection associated with HIV is oral thrush. This is a fungal infection that causes inflammation and white spots on the tongue and inside the mouth.
Another viral infection that affects the mouth is oral hairy leukoplakia, which causes white sores on the tongue.
Salmonella infections are transmitted through contaminated food or water and cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. available to anyone
Hiv And Aids
This infection affects the bile ducts and intestines and can be very serious. It can cause chronic diarrhea in AIDS patients.
HIV does not usually infect nerve cells directly, but it infects cells that support and surround nerves in the brain and throughout the body.
Although the link between HIV and nerve damage is not fully understood, infected supporting cells may contribute to nerve damage.
Advanced HIV can cause nerve damage, also known as neuropathy. This often causes pain and numbness in the feet and hands.
Hiv 1 Cellular And Tissue Replication Patterns In Infected Humanized Mice
Small holes in the conduction vessels of the peripheral nerve fibers can cause pain, weakness, and difficulty walking. This condition is known as vacuolar myelopathy.
AIDS has serious emotional problems. HIV and AIDS can cause HIV-related dementia, which has a significant impact on cognitive function.
Weak immune systems put people with AIDS at increased risk of brain and spinal cord inflammation caused by the virus. Symptoms include confusion, headache, and fainting. Seizures may be caused by certain diseases of the nervous system.
In more advanced cases, hallucinations and overt psychosis may occur. Some people suffer from headaches, balance and coordination problems, and vision problems.
Cardiovascular Disease And Thrombosis In Hiv Infection
A weak immune response makes you more vulnerable to viruses like herpes. Herpes can cause sores on the mouth and genitals.
HIV also increases the risk of shingles. Shingles occurs when the virus that causes chicken pox, herpes zoster, reactivates. This condition causes a painful rash, often accompanied by blisters.
A skin infection caused by a virus called molluscum contagiosum causes bumps on the skin. Another condition called prurigo nodularis causes scab-like bumps on the skin and severe itching.
HIV can cause a variety of symptoms, from mild flu-like symptoms in the early stages to neurological symptoms when the condition progresses to AIDS.
The Effects Of Hiv On The Body: Immune System And More
Many of the effects mentioned above are related to the immune system, which is always vulnerable to the progression of HIV and AIDS.
However, many of these effects are preventable with antiretroviral therapies that can maintain and repair the immune system.
Your health care professional may recommend additional treatment, such as blood pressure medication or skin creams, to deal with the effects of HIV or AIDS on other systems of your body.
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Comprehensive Hiv/aids Information
Our experts constantly monitor the field of health and wellness and update articles as new information becomes available. Medical Review by Daniel Murrell, MD – Written by Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA – Updated April 24, 2020
HIV attacks certain types of immune cells in the body. They are known as CD4 helper cells or T cells. When HIV destroys these cells, it becomes difficult for the body to fight other diseases.
If HIV is left untreated, even mild illnesses like the common cold can get worse. This is because the body has difficulty responding to new infections.
HIV not only attacks CD4 cells, but also uses them to produce more virus. HIV uses the CD4 cell replication machinery to make new copies of the virus and destroy the CD4 cell. This eventually causes the CD4 cells to swell and explode.
Amazon.com: Hiv/aids: Death Of An Immune System Easel Display
If the virus destroys a certain number of CD4 cells and the CD4 count drops below 200, the person progresses to AIDS.
However, it is important to note that advances in HIV treatment have enabled many people living with HIV to live longer and healthier lives.
HIV is spread through contact with the following body fluids, from most to least likely to cause HIV infection:
HIV can be spread by having sex without a condom, sharing needles, and sharing tattoos or piercing needles. However, if people living with HIV can suppress the virus, they will no longer be able to transmit HIV to others through sexual contact.
The Hiv Life Cycle
, a person has reached viral suppression when they have less than 200 copies of HIV RNA per milliliter of blood.
HIV does not always multiply quickly. If left untreated, it can take years for the immune system to be affected enough to show symptoms of immune dysfunction or other diseases. View a timeline of HIV symptoms.
Even if you don’t have symptoms, HIV is present in your body and can be transmitted. Appropriate treatment to suppress the virus can prevent immune system dysfunction and the spread of AIDS. Proper treatment can also help restore damaged immune systems.
Symptoms of severe disease may appear days to weeks after contracting the virus. During this time, the virus is not checked and it multiplies rapidly in the body.
Illustration Depicting How Hiv/aids Virus Attacks And Affects The Human Body Stock Vector Image & Art
Flu symptoms are caused by increased copies of HIV and the infection spreading throughout the body. During this time, the number of CD4 cells begins to decrease very quickly. The immune system then kicks in and CD4 levels rise again. However, CD4 levels may not return to pre-HIV levels.
In addition to the symptoms it may cause,
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