What does HIV do to a person's immune system?
HIV destroys a particular type of blood cell in the body, known as a helper T cell (CD4 cell). Helper T cells help the immune system function normally and fight off certain kinds of infections. HIV uses these cells to replicate. In doing so, it destroys the helper cells, and the body loses its ability to fight infection.
For more information, check out these articles:
HIV and AIDS
Talking to Your Child About STDs
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: June 2007
Originally reviewed by: Neil Izenberg, MD
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