HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a severe virus that destroys the body’s immune system, which can later lead to AIDS(acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) if the virus is not treated. Since its discovery in 1981, there have been no proper ways to completely cure this virus, which led many people to wonder the same question: what does HIV do to our body that’s incurable?
Initially, when the virus enters the body, it uses a particular cellular protein called cyclophilin to bind with our cell receptor; it then receives our cell’s information and changes its shape to fit into the compartment. Once that’s done, HIV does a process that we often hear in biology: Receptor-Mediated Endocytosis. To further explain this, the cell is triggered by a specific ligand that matches the cell’s shape. When it’s inside the cell, HIV uses its own DNA and genes to replicate itself. After, the virus Exocytosis gets out of our cells and moves on to infect other cells in our body.
People might question why HIV is incurable? Other viruses do the same thing when entering our bodies, but they can still be cured. To answer this question, we need to go back inside the cells to see what the virus is doing there. While HIV replicates itself and infects cells, it also integrates with the host’s DNA to create reservoirs. When inactivated, the virus inside the pools are remained “silent.” However, once the current virus inside the body is used, a stimulus is sent to those reservoirs to reactivate the remaining virus and start the infection.
Despite its fatality over the years, with modern-day’s medical technology, a person with HIV can live just as long as those who are HIV-negative if the virus is detected early. With that being said, it is crucial to receive early treatments once you have HIV.