When HIV enters the body it basically attacks what’s called the T-cell which is our immune system’s version of a general. And if you want to create the analogy of any army, your immune system is like an army that fights off infections. The virus gets into the T-cell and then it replicates.
And so it uses the T-cell’s own DNA, its own genetic makeup to actually reproduce itself, kills the T-cell, and then uses the T-cell as a factory to produce more versions of HIV.
HIV treatment works to stop HIV from entering the T-cells, so the virus can’t reproduce itself.
Dr. David Malebranche, MD, MPH, a clinician-researcher specializing in HIV, gives the lowdown on all things HIV care and treatment in the latest installment of the #AskTheHIVDoc video series.