AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)was first, described as a new disease of humans in 1981. The origins of the disease are controversial. AIDS is caused by a retrovirus, a type of virus which rarely attacks human cells. The first virus of this type recorded in humans is reponsible for a type of leukaemia and was identified in 1978. AIDS is thus the third type of human retrovirus to be discovered and hence, is referred to as T-lymphotrophic virus III (HTLV-III). For viruses to replicate, they have to invade a host cell which in this case is a T4-lymphocyte, a type of white blood cell that regulates the immune system. The problems of the disease result directly from the death of these cells. As a consequence, the immune system is compromised leading to a number of opportunistic secondary infections and other disorders.
|Number of pages||2|
|Specialist publication||Optometry Today|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1993|
- immune system
- secondary infections