There are nine (9) places (discovered to date) in the lifecycle of the HIV virus that can be targeted when developing any medicine intended to not only deactivate the virus but eliminate it altogether. AIDS is known as the most severe acceleration of infection with HIV. The retrovirus primarily infects vital organs of the human immune system such as CD4+T cells(a subset of T cells), Macrophages and Dendritic cells, directly and indirectly destroying these cells. Once HIV has killed enough of these, that there are fewer than 200 per microlitre of blood, cellular immunity is lost. Like most, if not all viruses, HIV survives in the host cell by taking over the functions of the host cell; in this case CD4+T cells and changing the cells to carryout HIV functions. So even if someone might have enough CD4+T cells in their blood, only those which are not infected will be able to carryout their functions of defending the body against disease. That is how come the body is easily attacked by opportunistic infections after this point. This implies that a person on ARVs might notice a rise in their CD4 count, but the large percentage of these cells are worthless and do not function as immune system cells, until most of their CD4 cells are infected and rendered useless. Usualy these people die of just minor diseases suddenly.
Is an HIV/AIDS cure possible?
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Many people find it very difficult to believe that a cure for the dreaded HIV is possible from Zambian researchers using Zambian resources, probably because research has been a neglected sector for so long. Most industrialised countries have advanced simply because they have linked accademia with industry, whereas in Zambia we are comfortable with filling children with theories that have no application in real life. That is why for these minds to take such a leap of faith is so farfetched.
© Zambia Institute of Natural Medicine and Research 2013
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