Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai 400049

Mechanism of HIV

  1. HIV is like a stealthy guerrilla fighter. It knows its territory and its enemy. It launches its first attack on the guard cells (M-cells). It enters the guard cells (M-cells) and uses its material to make more HIV. Eventually, the M-cell becomes so full that it bursts, releasing more HIV into the body.
  2. While the M-cell is under attack, it still sends messages to command and control centres (CD4 T-cells) to send more troops and special forces.
  3. The guerrilla HIV, however, sneaks up on the command that controls CD 4-cells and invades this cell in the same way. It uses the cell’s materials to manufacture more of itself. Like the guard cell, the CD4 cell will eventually explode, causing more HIV to enter the body.
  4. The soldiers, or CD8 cells, do a valiant job in vigorously fighting off the attack. They will kill some of the HIV, but their own army is working against them because the guards and command and control centres are being used to make hundreds of thousands of HIV cells. These will eventually overwhelm the soldiers, forcing them to surrender.
  5. The special forces (antibodies) are released into the body, but it takes a long time to bring the virus under control. This phase is known as the window period and usually lasts three months. At this point, any tests done for HIV antibodies will be negative because there are not enough HIV-specific antibodies in the blood for the tests to register.
  6. Once the antibodies are released into the blood stream, HIV changes its shape so that the antibodies do not recognise them.
  7. This slow war is waged between the guerrilla HIV and the body’s army until the body has no more troops, and its army is completely depleted. This process can take up to ten years.
  8. HIV has depleted the army to a point where any other foreign body can invade the body with impunity. Many illnesses can rampage through the body and they will not meet any resistance. Illnesses like pneumonia, thrush, TB, malaria and cancer can take advantage of the body’s weakened immune system.

Leave a comment