Okay...my bad on not responding earlier to the HIV thread in the Social Lounge...been in a bit of panic mode the last couple days with my studying, so i was hesitent to spend time typing out a long, thought-out answer to the questions posed there....
BTW, this is going to be long, but informative. But i'm gonna try and explain as much as I can, b/c i'm gonna be technical, but also detailed, so anyone who cares to read this, will understand it better, and understand why HIV does what it does.
If you don't care about what all the shit I write, i don't really give a fuck. Typing this all out also helps me commit this info to memory, b/c, let's be honest, i'm not a medical professional yet; I'm still studying to be one. And I don't know everything about AIDS or HIV and stuff, but i'm gonna explain as much as I can.
Now, before I proceed, if you have preconceived notions about HIV that don't match up with what I say here, then allow me to stick my dick in your ear, and fuck what ya heard!
First, a little clarity on AIDS vs. HIV.
HIV is the virus that you get, AIDS is when your body's T-cell count drops below 200. At the point at which your T-cell count is lower than 200, you are officially diagnosed with AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). This is acquired sexually via body fluids.
Now, before I go on,...
"What is a T-Cell?"
T-cells are cells in your body that make up what is called your "cellular immunity".
Now, there are two kinds of T-cells, CD8+ T-cells, and CD4+ T-cells.
T-cells are made in your bone marrow, and moved out to your thymus, where they are differentiated and given their specific functions
CD8 T-cells kill virus-infected cells, cancer (neoplastic) cells, and cells/organs from transplants (they're the fuckers that make your body reject your transplant - whole other issue...not gonna get into it). Hence, these CD8 cells are called cytotoxic T-cells. They kill upon seeing something they don't recognize from the body.
CD4+ T-cells, on the other hand, recognize something foreign, and either tell your macrophages (what we commonly refer to as "white blood cells") and CD8 T-cells to kill it, or tell your B-cells to make antibodies that will eventually get a whole other part of your immune system called the "Complement System" to kill them (this is usually reserved for bacteria).
These CD4's are the important immunity cells in HIV infections, b/c the CD8 likely won't kill virus-infected cells, until the CD4 cell tells it there's a problem.
So what happens when HIV enters your system, nigga?
HIV gets in your body, and right away the T-cells are going to come after it. But here's the problem...HIV has two proteins called gp120 and gp41. gp 120 attaches to T-cells on their surface and gp41 tricks the T-cell into letting the virus inside.
The HIV virus is an RNA virus. This means, its genetic material isn't DNA. It is the stuff that is made from DNA.
So what a virus normally does is use the host cell to make its important components (proteins and envelopes) for it. Some viruses are DNA viruses, so the DNA just uses the proteins in the cell to replicate itself.
HIV and other RNA viruses (like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis C, the common cold (Coronavirus), Rabies, Polio, etc), have an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. This enzyme takes that RNA that is in the HIV virus, and converts it to DNA, then the DNA is integrated into your own DNA in T-cells, and thus, your very own T-cells, if they aren't killed yet, will make more and more virus.