CDC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. CDC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Transmission electron micrograph showing particles (virions) of a virus that is the causative agent of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). AIDS virions (designated HIV - Human Immuno-- deficiency Virus) appear here as roughly circular bodies with a darker interior region. HIV destroys T-lymphocyte cells, key components of the immune system, which are responsible for stimulating the antibody-producing B-lymphocytes. The body's defence system is undermined & prey to opportunistic infections, notably pneumonia & Kaposi's sarcoma. Tranmission of virus occurs by sexual contact & through contaminated blood & blood products (eg. Factor VIII).
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