Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Last reviewed:March 2020
Show previous versions
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The retrovirus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and related human immunodeficiency illness. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) [see illustration] was first identified in 1983 and designated as human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1), in 1986. It attacks and weakens the body's immune system. Unless the progression of symptoms is blocked by treatment, it eventually leads to the terminal development of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in most infected individuals. A second type of the virus, HIV-2, was isolated from AIDS patients in West Africa in 1986 and progresses similarly, but at a typically slower pace. Like other retroviruses, HIV integrates its genetic material into that of the host cell, an infection that typically lasts throughout life and cannot be eliminated. Thus, medical interventions are directed toward maintaining the quality of life of infected individuals and preventing the virus from spreading to others. See also: Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS); Cellular immunology; Clinical immunology; Retrovirus; Virus
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information