HIV Drugs and the HIV Lifecycle
July 8, 2015
Table of Contents
HIV drugs cannot cure HIV, but they can help you stay healthy by preventing the virus from reproducing (making copies of itself). If HIV is not able to reproduce, it will not infect new cells in your body and your viral load remains low. With a low viral load, you are more likely to have a healthy immune system and less likely to spread HIV to others.
HIV must go through a number of different steps in order to make copies of itself. This is called the HIV lifecycle. All HIV drugs work by interrupting a step in HIV's lifecycle, thereby stopping HIV "in its tracks."
Once HIV is in the body, it targets and infects a certain type of white blood cell called a CD4 cell. HIV then takes over or "hijacks" these cells and turns them into factories that produce thousands of copies of the virus. The steps HIV goes through to complete this process are as follows:
This article was provided by The Well Project. Visit The Well Project's Web site to learn more about their resources and initiatives for women living with HIV. The Well Project shares its content with TheBody.com to ensure all people have access to the highest quality treatment information available. The Well Project receives no advertising revenue from TheBody.com or the advertisers on this site. No advertiser on this site has any editorial input into The Well Project's content.
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