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A New Understanding of AIDS

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HIV-1 particles assembling at the surface of an infected macrophage















Source: Now We Know How HIV Causes AIDS

Nearly 33 years after clinicians first reported AIDS, we are still learning how HIV leads to the immune system destruction that characterizes AIDS.

It’s the lack of CD4+ T cells that renders a person with AIDS susceptible to opportunistic infections like pneumonia and scores of others. It is not the HIV virus itself that destroys these helpful immune cells, but rather a cascade that triggers an intense inflammatory process of programmed cell death distinct from apoptosis, known as pyroptosis.

These new findings can lead to novel therapeutic pathways and new hope in the fight against HIV.

-Katie McKissick


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Glendon Mellow About the Author: Glendon Mellow is a fine artist, illustrator and tattoo designer working in oil and digital media based in Toronto, Canada. He tweets @FlyingTrilobite. You can see Glendon's work-in-progress at The Flying Trilobite blog and portfolio at Follow on Twitter @symbiartic.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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