- HIV diseasesearch for term
During the initial infection with HIV, when the virus comes in contact with the mucosal surface and finds susceptible T cells, the first site at which there is truly massive production of the virus is lymphoid tissue. This leads to a burst of massive viremia, with wide dissemination of the virus to lymphoid organs. The resulting immune response to suppress the virus is only partially successful and some viruses escape. Eventually, this results in high viral turnover that leads to destruction of the immune system. HIV disease is, therefore, characterized by a gradual deterioration of immune functions. During the course of infection, crucial immune cells, called CD4+ T cells, are disabled and killed, and their numbers progressively decline.