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Mar 1, 2013

How does AIDS affect the body ?

Response from Dr. Young


You've asked a very large question in only 6 words. In brief, AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is the disease caused by infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV infects key parts of the immune system, the CD4 T lymphocytes (aka CD4 cells). Over time causes depletion of the CD4 levels and subsequent dysfunction of the immune system.

With impaired immune function, the infected person is at greater risk for sometimes- life threatening infections and cancers.

Fortunately, we now have medications that can stop HIV from reproducing and causing cell death; allowing for the recovery of the immune system and return to health. The biggest challenges here in the US are getting people tested for HIV, into- and retained in health care, and onto medications.

For more information about AIDS, check out AIDS Infonet's page here on

Hope that is a helpful start. BY

cd4 and cd8 counts
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