HIV antibodies

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Fatimah Zahra Karim
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HIV antibodies

Postby Fatimah Zahra Karim » 30 Dec 2005, 15:49

s/a
most HIV tests (capillus, determine ELISA, and western blot), are tests for HIV antibodies. this means that the body produces antibodies to fight the virus. if this is the case, why cant the body get rid of the virus and get well?
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qarrar
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Re: HIV antibodies

Postby qarrar » 22 Jan 2006, 17:49

Fatimah Zahra Karim wrote:most HIV tests (capillus, determine ELISA, and western blot), are tests for HIV antibodies. this means that the body produces antibodies to fight the virus. if this is the case, why cant the body get rid of the virus and get well?

a/s,

To begin with I must confess I am no doctor! But I did have the opportunity to learn about HIV virus in college. The fascinating thing about the HIV virus and viruses such as herpes is that once inside the host cell, they do not reproduce right away. Instead, they mix their genetic instructions into the host cell's genetic instructions. When the host cell reproduces, the viral genetic instructions get copied into the host cell's offspring. The host cells may undergo many rounds of reproduction, and then some environmental or predetermined genetic signal will stir the "sleeping" viral instructions. The viral genetic instructions will then take over the host's machinery and make new viruses as described above. This cycle, called the lysogenic cycle. Because a virus is merely a set of genetic instructions surrounded by a protein coat and because it does not carry out any biochemical reactions of its own, viruses can live for years or longer outside a host cell. Once the virus is activated however and the body recognises the odd shape of these infected cells and triggers an immune response as you correctly mentioned by producing anti bodies. In essence what happens is that the anti bodies do manage to destroy these infected cells but return it also weakens the body's own immune system hence rendering it vulnerable to other opportunistic diseases. I am not sure if I have made self entirely clear but in short when these anti bodies try to cure the body by killing infected cells they are in fact killing the bodies own immune system.

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