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Symptoms of HIV - What Does HIV Do to Your Body?

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Updated June 19, 2014

Question: Symptoms of HIV - What Does HIV Do to Your Body?
What are the symptoms of HIV? How does HIV change your body? The symptoms of HIV after being infected; AIDS defining illnesses occur if you don't get treatment. What do the symptoms of HIV do to your body? This page will provide the answer to your frequently asked question about the symptoms of HIV.

Answer:
HIV is a virus that uses the genetic material from our CD4 cells to make more copies of itself. The virus likes one particular cell in our immune system called a CD4 cell or t-cell. When it uses that cell's genetic material, it damages the T-cell making it unable to do its job in our immune system. The more of these CD4 cells that are damaged, the weaker your immune system becomes. Eventually, your immune system will become so weak that it will not be able to protect you from other illnesses and infections, thus you become sick. Simply put, HIV doesn't make you sick. It weakens your immune system, allowing other illnesses and infections to make you sick.

More About HIV Effects on Your Body

Understand Your Immune System

What is a CD4 Cell

The HIV Life Cycle

The HIV Life Cycle in Pictures

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