HIV Life Cycle

According to the World Health Organization’s report in 2014, there are about 1.2 million deaths caused by AIDS. HIV (a human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus which leads to AIDS. This article will provide some information about the life cycle of HIV.HIV attacks and kills CD4 cells ( contained in a white blood cell that is very important in the fight against infection to protect your body) to destroy the immune system in a human’s body.

HIV uses CD4 cells as a device to grow and spread throughout the body. This process is called the life cycle of HIV. The life cycle of HIV consists of seven stages:

Attachment: HIV attaches to the receptor on the exterior of the CD4 cell

Intrusion: HIV and CD4 cell bond together, allowing HIV to enter CD4 cells

Reverse transcription: Inside CD4 cells, HIV converts HIV RNA (kind of genetic material) into HIV DNA by distributing their reverse transcriptase. This transformation helps HIV to break into the nucleus of CD4 cells and combine with cellular cell DNA

Integration: In the cell nucleus CD4, HIV releases an enzyme (integrase) in order to integrate the viral DNA into CD4 cell DNA.

hiv life cycleReplication: after being integrated into CD4 DNA, HIV begins using the CD4 apparatus to create HIV long chains of proteins. These HIV chains are components that make up new HIV viruses.

Assembly: new HIV protein cells and HIV RNA move to the cell’s surfaces and bring together into immature HIV virus (not due to HIV infection).

Release: Immature HIV escapes CD4 host cells. HIV virus releases an enzyme called HIV protease. Protease works to break down long protein chains which constitute immature viruses. The smaller ones combine to form full-grown HIV.

Based on different stages of the HIV life cycle, doctors and medical professions can fill a prescription in proper treatments for variant stages to help their patients live longer.

I hope that thanks to the information above, you can have an in-depth understanding of the HIV life cycle.


Author: Claudia

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