What is AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)?
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, English AIDS) is a condition that develops on the background of HIV infection (eng. Human immunodeficiency virus, HIV) and is characterized by a decrease in the number of CD4 + lymphocytes, multiple opportunistic infections and non-infectious diseases. In fact, is the terminal stage of HIV infection.
Causes of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
AIDS is caused by a human immunodeficiency virus belonging to the family of retroviruses, the genus of lentiviruses.
Like all retroviruses, HIV has a replication feature called reverse transcription, and the ability to infect human blood cells that have CD4 receptors on their surface (CD4 + T lymphocytes, macrophages).
The virus envelope consists of a bilayer lipid membrane, on the surface of which there are a number of proteins, such as:
gp41 – transmembrane glycoprotein, TM (Transmembrane glycoprotein) and
gp120 is a surface glycoprotein SU (Surface glycoprotein).
Inside the “core” of a virus consisting of the p17 matrix protein and the p24 capsid protein, there are two single-stranded virion RNA molecules and a number of enzymes:
- reverse transcriptase, RT (Reverse transcriptase);
- integrase (IN);
- protease (PR).