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A 39-year-old member asked:

How does hiv affect the immune system?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Hits white bld cells: The HIV virus (leading to aids) attacks and destroys a critical white blood cell of the immune system: the "cd4+ t-helper" cell. With these cells knocked out, the body's immune system is crippled and left unable to fight off infections which would otherwise be easily handled by a normal, healthy immune system.
Dr. Jack Mutnick
Allergy and Immunology 17 years experience
HIV: Hiv is the disease that destroys CD4 helper t-cells in our body. Aids is the final stage when HIV has won and overwhelmed the immune system. There are so many good treatments, you must see your infectious disease specialist to be placed on appropriate HIV therapy.
Dr. Daniel Lee
Internal Medicine 26 years experience
Kills CD4 cells: In simple terms, HIV infection leads to the destruction of CD4 cells, which are a specific type of immune cell called a t-helper cell. They are a type of white blood cell, which helps to fight infection. As HIV infection progresses, the CD4 cell count drops, which puts the person at higher risk for a variety of infections and malignancies.

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A 32-year-old member asked:

But what makes HIV able to avoid the immune system?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bac Nguyen
Family Medicine 23 years experience
Hiding inside cells: The HIV is able to avoid the immune system because of its ability to hide inside the cells. The antibodies your body makes to prevent future infections cannot enter the cells, thus they are useless once the HIV is already inside. While inside, they can multiply and thus continue to cause disease for years. So, the best treatment we have =prevention. Live well, evangelineli1. Good luck.
Port Allen, Louisiana
A 27-year-old female asked:

Is HIV able to be detected very soon in the immune system? And how soon?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Henry Selke
Infectious Disease 16 years experience
HIV window period : Most people develop HIV antibodies within 2-8 weeks of their infection. The average is 25 days. 97% of people will develop detectable antibodies in the first 3 months. Rarely, it can take up to 6 months to develop antibody. If there's concern about acute hiv, a test that measures HIV RNA viral load can be done. The time between HIV infection and RNA detection is about 10 days. Talk with md.

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Last updated Nov 14, 2018
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