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Hiv-1 Infection

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Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1, or HIV-1, is a lentivirus that targets CD4+ T cells, a subset of white blood cells essential to the body's defense against infections. If treatment for HIV-1 infection is not received, the virus causes the immune system to gradually deteriorate and eventually lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. HIV-1 binds to co-receptors like CCR5 or CXCR4 as well as CD4 receptors on the surface of CD4+ T cells to predominantly target them once it enters the body. The virus can enter the cell and start multiplying thanks to this binding, which ultimately causes the host cell to be destroyed. The immune system is weakened as the infection worsens, making the body more susceptible to opportunistic infections and several types of cancer. HIV-1 is mainly spread by contact with body fluids that contain the virus, such as breast milk, semen, blood, and vaginal secretions. Unprotected sexual contact, sharing syringes or needles tainted with infected blood, and mother-to-child transmission during childbirth or breastfeeding are common routes of infection. It's crucial to remember that informal interactions like handshakes, hugs, and sharing food or beverages cannot spread HIV-1. There can be significant individual variation in the clinical course of HIV-1 infection. Within a few weeks to months following initial exposure, some individuals may develop flu-like symptoms, including fever, tiredness, and swollen lymph nodes. The virus continues to reproduce and progressively damage the immune system during the protracted asymptomatic phase that frequently follows this acute stage. This stage can go untreated for a number of years before developing into HIV disease symptoms and ultimately AIDS. Antiretroviral therapy (ART), which inhibits viral replication and maintains immune function, and supportive care, which addresses symptoms and guards against opportunistic infections, are the two main components of managing HIV-1 infection. In order to enhance long-term results and lower the risk of HIV transmission to others, early ART therapy is essential. Although there is presently no cure for HIV-1 infection, many people may now manage their condition as a chronic illness because to advancements in treatment. People living with HIV-1 can lead healthy, productive lives with essentially normal lifespans provided they receive the right medical care and follow their treatment regimen. Nonetheless, current investigations persist in investigating novel treatments and prophylactic measures, with the ultimate objective of attaining an HIV-free generation.