Journal article Open Access

The human immunodeficiency virus: infectivity and mechanisms of pathogenesis

Fauci, A.

Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) results in a profound immunosuppression due predominantly to a selective depletion of helper/inducer T lymphocytes that express the receptor for the virus (the CD4 molecule). HIV also has tropism for the brain leading to neuropsychiatric abnormalities. Besides inducing cell death, HIV can interfere with T4 cell function by various mechanisms. The monocyte serves as a reservoir for HIV and is relatively refractory to its cytopathic effects. HIV can exist in a latent or chronic form which can be converted to a productive infection by a variety of inductive signals.
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