Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that attacks the immune system by invading it cells into the body and making it more susceptible to many infectious diseases. HIV destroys the most imperative cells in the human immune system like T helper cells, macrophages, specifically CD4+ cells. Infection on the immune system leads to the decreasing levels of CD4+ cells, thereby cell mediated immunity will be lost and body will become more susceptible to microbial infections. Initial stage of HIV is acute infection, which causes common symptoms like fever, large tender lymph nodes, throat inflammation, diarrhea, a rash, headache, sores of the mouth and genitals. After initial symptoms, the followed stage called clinical latency has occurred with chronic HIV and detectable viral load. The symptoms like weight loss, gastrointestinal problems and muscle pains will be seen at the end of this stage.
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Last date updated on September, 2014