Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that leads to Acquired
Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a current global epidemic in which the human
immune system is weakened so much so that common infections become life threatening.
HIV infects crucial cells in the human immune system, such as CD4+
lymphocytes, macrophages, and dentritic cells. CD4+
T cells are the majority of cells
commonly affected by HIV. Since the identification of Human Immunodeficiency Virus
as the cause of AIDS in the early 1980s, medical advances have led to extensive
knowledge of HIV infectivity, many available medical treatments, and a variety of
advances in diagnoses. Nevertheless, many scientific shortcomings in battling HIV are
still present, such as several unknowns about how the virus works, side effects of current
available treatments, and HIV resistance to drugs.
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