Which Organism Causes Aids?

AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV is a lentivirus, which is a type of retrovirus. There are two primary types of HIV:

  • HIV-1: This is the most common and widely distributed type of HIV. It is responsible for the global AIDS pandemic.
  • HIV-2: This type of HIV is less common and primarily found in West Africa. It tends to progress more slowly to AIDS compared to HIV-1.

HIV attacks and weakens the immune system, specifically targeting CD4+ T cells, a type of white blood cell that plays a crucial role in the body’s immune response. As the virus replicates and destroys these immune cells, it progressively weakens the individual’s ability to fight off infections and diseases. When the immune system is severely compromised, and the individual experiences a significant drop in CD4+ T cell count, they are diagnosed with AIDS.

AIDS is characterized by a range of opportunistic infections and cancers that take advantage of the weakened immune system. These infections and conditions can be life-threatening if not treated. While there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, antiretroviral therapy (ART) can help manage the virus and slow the progression of the disease, allowing individuals with HIV to lead longer and healthier lives. Prevention measures, such as safe sex practices and needle exchange programs, are also crucial in reducing the transmission of HIV.