Image of the Week

Image of the Week

Image of the Week

A New Understanding of AIDS

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

From: 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.


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

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