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What is HIV?
HIV is a virus that attacks the body's immune
system-the body's defence against diseases.
A person infected with HIV may not have
symptoms (asymptomatic) to start with, but
eventually without effective treatment the
immune system will become very weak and
they will no longer be able to fight off illnesses.
Patient will eventually die due to these
secondary infections.…read more

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HIV is an envelope
virus, this is because
it undergoes budding
during which it takes
a portion of its host
cells nuclear
membrane with it.
HIV is a retrovirus
and so contains RNA
and the enzyme
reverse transcriptase.…read more

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Reverse transcriptase allows the
synthesis of a single strand of DNA from
the viral RNA.
This can then form the complimentary
strand to give the double stranded DNA.…read more

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The viral envelope contains
glycoproteins (gp120 and
gp41) which form spikes that
protrude from the viral
Glycoproteins are made up
of carbohydrates and
These glycoproteins help to
recognise the CD4 surface
receptor on host cells.
The carbohydrate makes a
dome over the spike
allowing it to go undetected
by the human immune
response…read more

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Transmission of HIV
It is unable to live
long outside of
the body.
Due to the viral
membrane it is
very susceptible
to heat.…read more

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