Ultra thin section of Human T-lymphocyte showing aggregates of HIV particles in the cytoplasm, buddings and two extracellular HIV particles. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is responsible for acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS. The virus permits opportunistic infections, malignancies, and neurologic disease. The immunologic defect is due to the effect the virus has in making T4 lymphocytes ineffective; in addition the virus can injure the cells of the nervous system. After the initial infection the patient may be an asymptomatic carrier for years. Most cases of AIDS have developed after sexual contact with an infected person. The virus is also spread via tears of saliva into blood or from blood into blood, by transfusion of infected.
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