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HIV viruses. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the surface of a T-lymphocyte white blood cell (brown) infected with HIV viruses (purple). HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the cause of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). The infected T-cell has a typical lumpy appearance with irregular surface protrusions. Small spherical virus particles (purple) seen on the surface are budding away from the cell membrane. They then enter the bloodstream and infect more T- lymphocytes. This viral infection causes the death of T-lymphocyte immune cells and is the main reason for the destruction of the immune system in AIDS. Magnification: x10,000 at 6x6cm size.
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