Why HIV Causes?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a viral infection that primarily affects the immune system. It causes a condition known as HIV/AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) when left untreated. HIV is transmitted through specific bodily fluids, including blood, semen, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids, and breast milk. The virus can be transmitted from person to person through various means, such as unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles or syringes for drug use, receiving contaminated blood products, or from mother to child during childbirth or breastfeeding.

Here’s how HIV causes the effects associated with HIV/AIDS:

  • Infection of Immune Cells: HIV primarily targets a specific type of immune cell called CD4+ T cells. These cells are essential for coordinating the immune system’s response to infections. HIV binds to CD4 receptors on the surface of these cells and enters them, where it starts to replicate.
  • Weakening of the Immune System: As HIV replicates within CD4+ T cells, it damages and kills them. Over time, the virus can lead to a significant reduction in the number of functional CD4+ T cells in the body.
  • Progression to AIDS: When the CD4+ T cell count falls below a certain level, and the immune system becomes severely compromised, the individual is diagnosed with AIDS. At this stage, the immune system is too weak to effectively defend against opportunistic infections and certain cancers.
  • Opportunistic Infections: As the immune system becomes progressively weaker, people with AIDS are at increased risk of developing a wide range of opportunistic infections, which are caused by pathogens that typically do not harm individuals with healthy immune systems. These infections can be severe and life-threatening.
  • Cancers: People with AIDS are also at a higher risk of developing certain cancers, such as Kaposi’s sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

While HIV can lead to AIDS, it’s important to note that not everyone with HIV will develop AIDS. The progression of the disease can vary widely among individuals, and with appropriate medical care and antiretroviral therapy (ART), the progression of HIV infection to AIDS can often be delayed or prevented. ART helps control the replication of the virus, maintain a healthy immune system, and reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others.

Prevention strategies, including safe sex practices, needle exchange programs, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), are important tools in reducing the spread of HIV. Early detection and access to medical care are crucial for effectively managing HIV and preventing its progression to AIDS.