|HIV Antibodies and other antibodies
Nov 18, 1996
I have been told that when someone has antibodies to a virus, he is protected or immune against that specific virus. And that normally vaccines work in this way, provoking an antibody reaction in the blood. However, this does not seem to be the case for HIV. If someone has antibodies for HIV, it means that he is *infected* instead of *immune*, right? Why is this? Thanks
| Response from Mr. Sowadsky
Hi. Thank you for your question.
When a person produces antibodies against a given infection, sometimes those antibodies are successful at getting rid of an infection, and sometimes not. Certain antibodies work well against some diseases (such as Hepatitis A or Hepatitis B, and other diseases for which we have vaccines). However, for other diseases, like HIV and others, the body produces antibodies in an attempt to destroy the infection, but those antibodies are not successful at eliminating the infection. The immune system consists of many components, which includes antibodies. We do know that the immune system can keep an HIV infection under control for many years. However, ultimately, after years of constantly fighting off HIV, the immune system starts losing the battle against the virus.
Your immune system can successfully fight off some diseases, and not others. Although your body produces antibodies against HIV, those antibodies are simply unsuccessful at getting rid of the virus. But other antibodies are successful at getting rid of the germs they fight off. In other words, sometimes antibodies work against some diseases, but not others. Unfortunately, our immune system can't win all the battles it fights. If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide). Rick Sowadsky MSPH CDS
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- Does Painful Ejaculation Mean I Have Hiv?
- Hpv During Window Period
- Is Hairy Tongue A Symptom Of HIV?
- Bronchitis After French Kissing Worried I Have HIV
- Chills After Insertive Anal Sex With Condom Does It Mean I Have HIV
- Ear Infection After Oral Sex With No Protection Does It Mean I Have HIV
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.