Last Reviewed : 12/24/2020

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a lentivirus (a subgroup of retrovirus) that causes HIV infection and over time acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). AIDS is a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive. Without treatment, average survival time after infection with HIV is estimated to be 9 to 11 years, depending on the HIV subtype. Infection with HIV occurs by the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, or breast milk. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells.

HIV infects vital cells in the human immune system such as helper T cells (specifically CD4+ T cells), macrophages, and dendritic cells. HIV infection leads to low levels of CD4+ T cells through a number of mechanisms, including pyroptosis of abortively infected T cells, apoptosis of uninfected bystander cells, direct viral killing of infected cells, and killing of infected CD4+ T cells by CD8 cytotoxic lymphocytes that recognize infected cells. When CD4+ T cell numbers decline below a critical level, cell-mediated immunity is lost, and the body becomes progressively more susceptible to opportunistic infections.


We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.


Basic information: medical news today hiv/aids: causes, symptoms and treatments cdc about hiv/aids health line hiv symptoms in men web md hiv & aids overview mayoclinic symptoms nhs uk hiv and aids merck manuals(professional version) human immunodeficiency virus (hiv) infection bettr health hiv and aids newyork times aids


Advanced information: who hiv/aids medscape hiv disease amfar statistics: worldwide patient hiv and aids tb facts tb and hiv – co-infection, diagnosis & treatment hiv clinical resource update: hiv prophylaxis following non-occupational exposure the tech the evolving genetics of hiv


Research: microbial translocation and b cell dysfunction in human immunodeficiency virus disease by wei jiang et al., american journal of immunology 8 (2): 44-51, 2012 contributions to early hiv diagnosis among patients linked to care vary by testing venue by michael s lyons et al., bmc public healthbmc series ¿ open, inclusive and trusted20088:220 doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-8-220 innate immune recognition and activation during hiv infection by trine h mogensen et al., retrovirology20107:54 doi: 10.1186/1742-4690-7-54 asymptomatic neurocognitive disorders in patients infected by hiv: fact or fiction? By carlo torti et al mc medicine20119:138 doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-9-138 the cost-effectiveness of preventing mother-to-child transmission of hiv in low- and middle-income countries: systematic review by mira johri cost effectiveness and resource allocation20119:3 doi: 10.1186/1478-7547-9-3 hiv as a chronic disease considerations for service planning in resource-poor settings by lucy reynolds et al., globalization and health20117:35 doi: 10.1186/1744-8603-7-35 innate, adaptive and intrinsic immunity in human immunodeficiency virus infection by suneth s. Perera and nitin k. Saksena american journal of infectious diseases, 2012, 8 (3), 132-148 : malhamé i, cormier m, sugarman j,schwartzman k (2016) latent tuberculosis in pregnancy: a systematic review. Plos one 11(5):e0154825. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0154825 improving data quality and supervision of antiretroviral therapy sites in malawi: an application of lot quality assurance sampling by bethany l hedt-gauthier et al., bmc health services researchbmc series ¿ open, inclusive and trusted201212:196 doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-12-196 j. Venom. Anim. Toxins incl. Trop. Dis vol.13 no.2 botucatu 2007 review article:intestinal microbiota and hiv-1 infection by trindade e. B. S. M hiv and hcv prevalence among entrants to methadone maintenance treatment clinics in china: a systematic review and meta-analysis by xun zhuang et al.,bmc infectious diseasesbmc series ¿ open, inclusive and trusted201212:130 doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-12-130 braz j infect dis vol.7 no.1 salvador feb. 2003 mini-review:diagnosis, antiretroviral therapy, and emergence of resistance to antiretroviral agents in hiv-2 infection: a review by maia hightower; esper georges kallas radiological features of aids complicated by pulmonary cryptococcosis: literature review and a report of 10 cases by xiao yu et al., radiology of infectious diseases volume 3, issue 1, march 2016, pages 9–14 doi:10.1016/j.jrid.2016.01.002 national and subnational hiv/aids coordination: are global health initiatives closing the gap between intent and practice? By neil spicer et al.,globalization and health20106:3 doi: 10.1186/1744-8603-6-3 vaccination with alvac and aidsvax to prevent hiv-1 infection in thailand by supachai rerks-ngarm, m.d et al., n engl j med 2009; 361:2209-2220december 3, 2009doi: 10.1056/nejmoa0908492


Other helpful resources(support groups): what we do hiv strategy overview newzealand aids foundation san fransisco aids foundation how is hiv / aids transmitted? india hiv/aids alliance elizabeth glaser pediatric aids foundation


Related videos: early hiv symptoms in men signs you may have hiv the science of hiv/aids medical animation: hiv and aids


Presentations/quiz/newspaper articles: hiv cure a step closer after scientists remove virus's dna from living tissue study observes potential breakthrough in treatment of hiv one step closer to an hiv cure: engineered molecules 'kill infected cells and could wipe out hidden reservoirs of the virus'

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