1.3. Description, structure and lifecycle of the virus
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects cells of the immune system containing CD4 receptors on their surface: T lymphocytes (t-helpers), monocytes, macrophages and some others. After penetrating into cells, the virus begins to reproduce, which further provokes the destruction and death of infected cells. The virus escapes from the dead cells and infects new CD4 cells. CD4 cell count gradually gets so low that the body loses its ability to combat infections and viral diseases that do not pose a risk for people with a normal immune system.