HIV virus. Coloured Transmission Electron Micro- graph (TEM) of an newly released Human Immuno- deficiency Virus (HIV) drifting away (red) from a T-cell (yellow). HIV is thought to cause AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) by damaging T-cells, a type of white blood cell that plays a vital role in the body's immune system. Like other viruses, HIV reproduces by planting special genes in the DNA of the host cell. These subvert the cell's function, turning it into a virus- producing machine. Because HIV hijacks T-cells it disarms the body's immune system, rendering the subsequent infection. Magnification unknown.
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