How HIV works: latest news

How HIV works resources

  • HIV lifecycle

    The immune system is the body’s natural defence system.To survive, HIV needs to infect cells in which new viruses can be made.Different anti-HIV drugs target different...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Viral load

    Effective HIV treatment results in a fall in viral loadAn undetectable viral load is the aim of HIV treatment.People who are taking effective HIV treatment...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Drug resistance

    It's important to always take your HIV treatment at the right times and in the right amounts. If you don't, HIV may become drug resistant.When...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • Myths and facts

    There's a lot of misunderstanding and HIV and AIDS. Not everything you hear about HIV and AIDS is true.Some of the myths are about how...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • Transmission facts

    HIV can only be passed on when one person's body fluids get inside another person. HIV can be passed on during sex without a condom,...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • Very recent infection

    During the first few weeks after becoming infected with HIV, your body's immune system is working out what HIV is and how to get it...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • Better off knowing

    The sooner you know you have HIV, the sooner you can get the medical care you need. If you know you have HIV, you can...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • HIV and the immune system

    The immune system is the body’s natural defence system. It’s a network of cells, tissues and organs inside the body.The immune system recognises and fights...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • CD4 and viral load

    It’s important for all people with HIV to have regular blood tests. The two most important blood tests are for CD4 and viral load.CD4 and...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • How treatment works

    HIV treatment helps you stay well by reducing the amount of HIV in your body. All anti-HIV drugs try to prevent HIV infecting new cells,...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • Primary infection

    Early HIV infection can cause flu-like symptoms.Some HIV tests cannot detect very recent infections.There is more risk of transmitting HIV in the early stages of...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Health issues

    If you are ‘HIV positive’ this means that you have a virus called HIV in your body. It doesn’t mean that you are ill, or that...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • Introduction to HIV and AIDS

    An introduction to HIV and AIDS, including how HIV is transmitted and detected, the history of the epidemic and definitions of disease stages....

    From: HIV treatments directory

    Information level Level 4

How HIV works features

How HIV works in your own words

  • Seroconversion

    I was given my diagnosis over the telephone after spending four days in hospital with meningitis. I now realise it wasn’t meningitis, it was an...

    From: In your own words

How HIV works news from aidsmap

More news

How HIV works news selected from other sources

  • Has Basic Science in HIV Research Stalled?

    Now that effective therapies for active HIV infection are broadly available, there should be renewed focus on basic science regarding HIV, said experts contacted by MedPage Today.

    09 April 2018 | MedPage Today
  • How HIV Alters Cells May Facilitate Sexual Transmission of Hepatitis C

    A new study identifies key changes that HIV makes to Langerhans cells in the mucosal lining of the rectum.

    22 March 2018 | Poz
  • Statement of UNAIDS on news reports of a new HIV strain in the Philippines

    UNAIDS is concerned that media reports which make reference to HIV research in the Philippines are being interpreted as saying that there is a new and untreatable strain of the virus in the country. There is no new strain of HIV which has been found in the Philippines.

    21 March 2018 | UNAIDS Asia-Pacific
  • Issue Brief: Suboptimal Immune Recovery on Antiretroviral Therapy

    A subset of people on ART experience limited or no recovery of CD4+ T cell counts despite achieving and maintaining undetectable HIV viral loads, and these individuals have an elevated risk of illness and death compared with counterparts who obtain greater CD4+ T cell gains.

    06 March 2018 | TAG
  • Scientists Find No Signs That Well-Treated HIV Replicates in Lymph Nodes

    A research team has found no evidence of ongoing HIV replication in the lymph nodes among individuals receiving fully suppressive antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for the virus. This finding stands in sharp contrast to the conclusions of a 2016 study out of Northwestern University, published in Nature, that indicated that even in the face of ARV treatment, HIV replicates in the lymph nodes, thus helping to replenish the viral reservoir.

    06 March 2018 | Poz
  • Microbiome research refines HIV risk for women

    Drawing from data collected for years by AIDS researchers in six African nations, scientists have pinpointed seven bacterial species whose presence in high concentrations may significantly increase the risk of HIV infection in women.

    26 January 2018 | Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • SA study shows why some progress to Aids before others

    HIV/Aids researchers have never understood why people infected with HIV developed Aids at different times‚ but now they suspect that it all has to do with their genes. A study has now shed new light on how specific genes in people can lead to the faster progression of Aids-related illnesses in people living with HIV who are not on treatment.

    25 January 2018 | Medical Brief
  • Infectious diseases doctor sounds an international alarm about HIV treatment resistance in the Philippines

    Dr. Edsel Salvana explains the global implications of treatment-resistant HIV in the Philippines.

    25 January 2018 | Science Speaks
  • Suboptimal ART adherence associated with greater inflammation in patients with HIV

    Recently published findings indicate that suboptimal adherence to ART is associated with activation of coagulation and enhanced residual inflammation among patients with HIV, even if patients have already achieved virologic suppression.

    07 January 2018 | Healio
  • Four big insights into HIV/AIDS that provide hope of finding a vaccine

    African researchers have been performing cutting-edge research to contribute to addressing the HIV epidemic. The sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence has been at the forefront of this research and has provided some important insights into how the virus spreads as well as the immune mechanisms that enable some people to control the virus without antiretroviral drugs.

    24 November 2017 | The Conversation
More news

Our information levels explained

  • Short and simple introductions to key HIV topics, sometimes illustrated with pictures.
  • Expands on the previous level, but also written in easy-to-understand plain language.
  • More detailed information, likely to include medical and scientific language.
  • Detailed, comprehensive information, using medical and specialised language.
Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap
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This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.