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human immunodeficiency virus, either of two closely related retrovirusesretrovirus,
type of RNA virus that, unlike other RNA viruses, reproduces by transcribing itself into DNA. An enzyme called reverse transcriptase allows a retrovirus's RNA to act as the template for this RNA-to-DNA transcription.
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 that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDSAIDS
or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,
fatal disease caused by a rapidly mutating retrovirus that attacks the immune system and leaves the victim vulnerable to infections, malignancies, and neurological disorders. It was first recognized as a disease in 1981.
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. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States. HIV-2, seen more often in western Africa, has a slower course than HIV-1. There are many strains of both types and the virus mutates rapidly, a trait that has made it especially difficult for researchers to find an effective treatment or vaccine. In many cases, a person's immune system will fight off the invasion of HIV for many years, producing billions of CD4 cells daily, always trying to keep up with the HIV's mutations, before it succumbs and permits the well-known signs of AIDS to develop.

HIV is especially lethal because it attacks the very immune system cells (variously called T4, CD4, or T-helper lymphocytes) that would ordinarily fight off such a viral infection. Receptors on these cells appear to enable the viral RNA to enter the cell. As with all retroviruses, once the RNA is inside the cell, an enzyme called reverse transcriptase allows it to act as the template for its own RNA to DNA transcription. The resultant viral DNA inserts itself into a cell's DNA and is reproduced along with the cell and its daughters. In 2012 the Food and Drug Administration approved a pill that combines two antiretroviral drugs, tenofovir and emtricitabine, for use in preventing infection with HIV, and two years later the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for the drug combination to be prescribed to uninfected patients who are at risk for AIDS in an effort to reduce number of new HIV infections.

The exact origin of the virus in humans is unclear. Scientists surmise that HIV-1 jumped from African chimpanzees, who harbor a similar strain of SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus), to humans via the butchering of meat or an animal bite. The first case documented in humans dates from 1959, but genetic analysis published in 2008 estimated that it originated some time between 1884 and 1924. A 2014 analysis suggested that the most widespread form of HIV-1 in humans originated in 1920s in what was then the Belgian Congo. AIDS is believed to have spread to the Caribbean in the 1960s and the United States in the early 1970s. The virus was isolated by Luc MontagnierMontagnier, Luc Antoine,
1932–, French virologist, M.D. Sorbonne, 1960. Montagnier was a researcher at the Medical Research Council at Carshalton, London (1960–63), the Institute of Virology in Glasgow, Scotland (1963–65), and the Curie Institute in Orsay,
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 of France's Pasteur Institute in 1983. It went through several name changes before the official name, human immunodeficiency virus, was agreed upon.


References in periodicals archive ?
The mother disappeared with the child, and when they returned after a year without medicine the girl displayed undetectable levels of HIV virus and doctors thought she may have been cured.
Cases of young men getting infected with HIV virus is on the rise in Middle East and Africa because of the lack of awareness regarding issues like drug abuse and unprotected physical contacts among adolescents, (http://www.
Humans have different immune systems, and there are different types and subtypes of the HIV virus.
The 2F5 antibody is potent against an epitope of the protein gp41, part of the sheath of the HIV virus, which is responsible for fusing the cellular membranes to the virus.
66% of participants who knew that hugging and shaking hands with HIV/AIDS infected person will not transmit HIV virus.
Then the modified HIV virus was used to carry in a new gene that would boost the immune cells and help them spot, then attack cancer cells that had previously been able to sneak in "under the radar," the hospital said on its website.
If they think that they might be infected with the HIV virus, 49.
Following our story "Gazza Aids fear" on Janaury 16 we have been asked to point out that he was tested for the HIV virus on January 4.
Among 16-19 year olds, 46% indulged in unprotected sex, 54% were worried about the HIV virus or Aids, 32% had a one night stand and 26% had had sex while drunk.
The article assumes that the existence of the putative HIV virus has been proven, and that this virus has been shown to have a pathological effect (ie it causes the disease called AIDs).
A 26-YEAR-OLD African asylum seeker appeared before magistrates yesterday charged with deliberately infecting women with the HIV virus by having sex with them.
A 26-year-old musician was due in court on Teesside today accused of deliberately infecting a 15-year-old girl and two women with the deadly HIV virus.