HIV viruses. Coloured Transmission Electron Micro- graph (TEM) of Human Immunodeficiency Viruses (HIV) emerging from a T-lymphocyte blood cell. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). The viruses are green; the T-cell is red at lower frame. HIV causes AIDS by infecting 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 infects T- cells it disarms the body's immune system, making the victim defenceless against infection.
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