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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 ?
This more specific second test can differentiate between HIV antibodies and other antibodies that react to the EIA, causing positive results even when the person is not actually infected with HIV.
HIV antibodies present in the specimen bind to the HIV-1 antigens fixed on the surface of an IFA glass slide.
Because the specimens to be tested consisted of previously diluted DBS eluates, an assay cutoff value for the screening of these eluates for zidovudine was calculated by analyzing 175 eluates that were negative for HIV antibodies.
Authoritative papers in both Bio/Technology (June 1993) and the Journal of the American Medical Association (November 27, 1991) have shown that the tests are not standardized and give many "false positives" because they react to substances other than HIV antibodies.
3 percent) were positive for HIV antibodies, and 36 of those who tested negative were classified as positive after pooled HIV RNA testing.
If I wanted to detect [evidence of] HIV in blood, I could stamp squares onto a surface with the antigen for HIV antibodies.
Researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have said that the success has not been achieved in this field partly due to the fact that our body's natural HIV antibodies simply don't have a long enough reach to effectively neutralize the viruses they are meant to target.
The p24 antigen is present during the first few weeks of HIV infection and can be identified before HIV antibodies are produced, making it an ideal marker to aid in early HIV detection.
The team discovered that 27 of the 60 women (45 percent) in the sponge group and 20 of the 56 women (36 percent) in the placebo group developed HIV antibodies during the course of the study.
Primary or acute HIV infection is that period following recent infection when an individual has not yet developed detectable levels of HIV antibodies.
The SDA approval allows MedMira to market its MiraWell(TM) Rapid HIV Test for the detection of HIV antibodies in the People's Republic of China.
To explain the presence of HIV antibodies, volunteers received cards verifying their participation in the trial.