Q:

What is HIV?

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Quick Answer

Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a disease that attacks the human immune system. HIV uses human T-Cells and CD4 cells to reproduce, which eventually destroys those cells and destroys the immune system, reports the AIDS website.

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Full Answer

HIV is a virus that happens to use the main component of the human immune system as part of its reproductive cycle. The body has trouble identifying and fighting off HIV because it is able to hide for a long time, leading to periods of relatively good health with bouts of illness. Over time, the HIV destroys proliferates and destroys more and more of the body's T-cells and CD4 cells.

After the HIV has damaged the immune system enough that other opportunistic infections are starting to take over, the patient is usually diagnosed as having Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome. AIDS is a range of symptoms and illness that are the final stage of HIV. Modern medical technology helps to keep patients from progressing to this point with a collection of medications taken on a daily basis. The medications strengthen the immune system and keep the HIV at very low levels within the body. With these medications those who have HIV are able to live long, good lives. The medical industry is actively researching potential cures for HIV.

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