The Scientific Journey of Battling HIV/AIDS: A Series of Advancements and Setbacks
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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+ T helper 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.