The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that causes the body’s immune system to break down. Your immune system fights off illness and infection and is very important for a healthy body.
Once HIV is present in the body, it attacks important white blood cells in your immune system called lymphocytes, or T-cells. T-cells identify and destroy invading organisms in the body. Once attached to the T-cell, HIV multiplies and destroys the cell. When your body is deprived of enough T-cells, it can become very sick from infections that a healthy person’s immune system would normally fight off, such as colds, flu and other viruses.
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