Characteristics of HIV


Better known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

It is a degenerative disease , progressive and currently without cure, transmitted through sexual intercourse, blood or breast milk.

This type of disease is potentially lethal as it lowers the bearer’s defenses, rendering him defenseless against any disease, from infectious to cancer.

HIV directly affects vital cells in the body of the person carrying the virus.

Two types of viruses are currently known:

  • HIV-1. It is dispersed throughout the world and is considered to be ubiquitous and highly virulent in distribution.
  • HIV-2. This virus is located in West Africa and is considered less pathogenic.

HIV characteristics

  1. It is a lentivirus, belonging to the subgroup of retroviruses.
  2. It mainly affects the immune system.
  3. Contributes to the development of life-threatening cancers and opportunistic infections.
  4. Without treatment , HIV carriers have a life expectancy of nine to eleven years.
  5. This disease can be transmitted by semen, bleeding, vaginal discharge, breast milk, or pre-seminal fluid.
  6. The cells most affected are T Helper cells, dendritic cells and macrophages.
  7. The cells that this virus generally invades are CD4 + T lymphocytes.
  8. It generates viral death of infected cells.
  9. This type of virus has common biological and morphological properties .
  10. Its genome is made up of a single stranded RNA chain .
  11. This strand of RNA is copied from the strand of DNA in order to multiply.
  12. HIV shares characteristics with retroviruses.
  13. This virus can remain latent causing residual viral replication or spread throughout the body, undergoing massive replication.
  14. Its latency or not depends on various factors such as viral, cellular or immunological.
  15. It spreads automatically , affecting exposed cells.
  16. The duration of the infectious cycle is one to two days.
  17. This virus destroys cellular immunity.
  18. Its action ends with the death of the bearer.
  19. Symptoms for determining the virus are usually nonspecific.
  20. Currently there is treatment for HIV , but this only prolongs life, but does not cure the infection.

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