HIV that stands for human immunodeficiency virus is responsible for causing Acquired Immune deficiency syndrome. Various structural proteins are present in HIV that is responsible for making a complete virus. The various structural proteins are Gag, pol and env. The major structural protein of HIV virus is Gag protein. Gag protein undergoes proteolytic cleavage and different units are formed that includes capsid (CA), nucleocapsid (NC), mature subunits matrix (MA) and p6. After proteolytic cleavage different signals are send by the units that include assembly, viral RNA packaging and assembly of the virion. These signals work in a coordinated manner and are dependent on one another to form the complete virion. HIV infects the CD4+ T cells and hence HIV infection can be detected by the reduction in count of CD4+ T cells in the body.
HIV can be treated by the combination of various drugs called antiretroviral therapy. It reduces the viral load in the body but does not completely eliminate it from the body. Each drug blocks different sites to stop HIV from replicating in the body. Like Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs) which blocks the reverse transcriptase activity of the viruses so they cannot make DNA copies of the virus so stops its replication, Fusion inhibitors: it blocks the receptors that are present on both HIV virus and CD4 cells that are necessary for joining. It blocks the receptors and hence the virus cannot gain entry into the healthy cells. Depending upon different activity of the virus necessary for its assembly and replications the drugs are designed to block different sites so that virus does not enter the new cells.
Last date updated on July, 2014