How HIV works: latest news

How HIV works resources

  • 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
  • HIV lifecycle

    HIV is a virus. Viruses are microscopic germs that are unable to reproduce (replicate) by themselves. Instead they need to find and infect a cell...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Viral load

    Viral load is the term used to describe the amount of HIV in a body fluid. Viral load tests measure the amount of HIV in...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • HIV, the basics

    Key facts about HIV, AIDS, transmission, testing and treatment....

    From: Living with HIV

    Information level Level 2
  • Primary infection

    The first few months following infection with HIV are known as primary HIV infection, or acute HIV infection. During this initial stage of HIV infection,...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • 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
  • 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
  • Better off knowing

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

    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
  • 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
  • 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

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How HIV works news selected from other sources

  • Fat Tissue May Be Another Part of HIV Reservoir

    In addition to possibly being a component of the HIV reservoir, fat tissue may also be a source of harmful chronic inflammation among those living with the virus. Publishing their findings in PLOS Pathogens, researchers studied adipose (fat) tissue in both macaque monkeys infected with SIV, HIV’s simian cousin, as well as HIV-positive humans who underwent elective abdominal surgery.

    28 September 2015 | Aidsmeds
  • Infection with multiple HIV-1 variants leads to poorer clinical outcomes

    HIV-1 infection with multiple founder variants points to poorer clinical outcomes than infection with a single variant, according to a paper published today in Nature Medicine. In the study researchers analyzed large sample sets from two important HIV vaccine efficacy trials -- the Step HIV vaccine clinical trial (HVTN 502) and RV144, the landmark vaccine clinical trial conducted in Thailand -- to evaluate whether genetic characteristics of the founder viral populations could influence markers of clinical outcomes.

    01 September 2015 | Eurekalert Inf Dis
  • How long have primates been infected with viruses related to HIV?

    A study published on Aug. 20th in PLOS Pathogens of antiviral gene sequences in African monkeys suggests that lentiviruses closely related to HIV have infected primates in Africa as far back as 16 million years.

    21 August 2015 | Eurekalert Inf Dis
  • Cheap blood test reveals every virus you've ever been exposed to

    Cheap and rapid test allows doctors to access list of every virus that has infected or continues to infect a patient, and could transform disease detection

    05 June 2015 | New Scientist
  • Some chimpanzees infected with AIDS virus may harbor protective, humanlike gene

    When Peter Parham’s postdoc first showed him data suggesting a gene in some wild chimpanzees infected with the AIDS virus closely resembled one that protects humans from HIV, he was skeptical.

    29 May 2015 | Science
  • Six questions about HIV/AIDS that deserve more attention

    As HIV investigators work to control and eradicate the virus worldwide, certain myths or misconceptions about the disease have been embraced, whereas other concepts with merit have been left relatively unexplored, argues American HIV/AIDS researcher Jay Levy, M.D., in a Trends in Molecular Medicine commentary. He calls on fellow researchers to continue questioning and not to lose sight of alternative strategies that could ultimately lead to a sustainable, long-term solution to HIV infection.

    15 April 2015 | Eurekalert Inf Dis
  • HIV spreads like internet malware and should be treated earlier

    A new model for HIV progression finds that it spreads in a similar way to some computer worms and predicts that early treatment is key to staving off AIDS. HIV specialists and network security experts at UCL noticed that the spread of HIV through the body using two methods -- via the bloodstream and directly between cells -- was similar to how some computer worms spread through both the internet and local networks respectively to infect as many computers as possible.

    07 April 2015 | Eurekalert Inf Dis
  • HIV can spread early, evolve in patients' brains

    HIV can genetically evolve and independently replicate in patients' brains early in the illness process, an analysis of cerebral spinal fluid has found. Prompt diagnosis and treatment with antiretroviral therapy should reduce the risk that the virus could find refuge and cause damage in the brain, where some medications are less effective -- potentially enabling it to re-emerge, even after it is suppressed in the periphery, say researchers.

    27 March 2015 | Eurekalert Inf Dis
  • Two Strains of HIV Cut Vastly Different Paths

    It’s now clear, researchers say, that HIV originated in humans on 13 separate occasions, evolving in humans from ancestral viruses that infected monkeys, chimpanzees and gorillas.

    03 March 2015 | New York Times
  • Gorilla origins of the last two HIV-1 lineages confirmed

    Two of the four known groups of human AIDS viruses (HIV-1 groups O and P) have originated in western lowland gorillas, according to an international team of scientists. HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS, has jumped species to infect humans on at least four separate occasions, generating four HIV-1 lineages -- groups M, N, O, and P. Previous research from this team found that groups M and N originated in geographically distinct chimpanzee communities in southern Cameroon, but the origins of groups O and P remained uncertain.

    03 March 2015 | Eurekalert Inf Dis
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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.