HIV and Cancer
HIV is a RNA retrovirus that uses T helper cells to replicate. HIV often manifests into AIDS usually when not treated adequately. HIV targets T helper cells and macrophages. T helper cells and macrophages play key roles in the immune response. The T helper cell coordinates the immune system’s response to infection: it stimulates the production of immune system cells; it stimulates the production of T-cytotoxic cells which ingest and destroy all types of viruses; it stimulates production of B-cells, which produce antibodies; assist with B-cells ingestion and virus elimination.
HIV is a RNA retrovirus that uses T helper cells to replicate. The virus binds to the T-helper cell’s CD4+ protein and gp120 co-receptor located on the surface of the T-cell. After HIV attachment, it enters the cell where it disassembles and hijack’s the cell’s own production machinery to make its viral proteins (for survival) and to re-assembly. Also, macrophages and T-memory cells are targeted by HIV. However, these cells and some T-helper cells are only infected but not killed by the virus. These infected cells harbor the viral particles and are used as “HIV virus production factory.” The virus uses the infected cell to generate more viruses, which detach to infect other host cells. Macrophages is part of the immune system’s first line of defense against infection and normally engulf foreign particles (i.e. bacteria) for destruction however, HIV can inserts itself into macrophage and Tcell, and then lay dormant for years hindering the cell from performing its function. When significant number (percentage) of T helper cells and macrophages succumb to HIV, the body will be unable to fight infections and becomes immunodeficient, thereby developing AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
HIV has been associated with three types of cancer: Kaposi’s sarcoma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Invasive Cervical Cancer. With Kaposi’s sarcoma, the patient develops cancer.
HIV and Cancer