PC/tablet Welcome page smartphone
Share Webmaster: paul yves wery contact@

- -

ReduceTXT Enlarge TXT

www.PrevAIDS.org - Science and HIV

virus is not a bacteria, nor a fungus nor a parasite!

There are four kinds of microbes which can affect our health: the parasite, the fungus, the bacteria and the virus…

  1. The pluricellular parasites: they are the biggest of the microbes. Like us, the parasites have organs; some kinds of parasites even have arms, sex, etc. With adequate nutrition, parasites can make progeny by themselves. The most famous parasites are "scabies" (little insects living in our skin), "taenia" and other worms (in our intestine); etc. Each parasite is destroyed by a specific anti parasite (insecticide for scabies and louse, mebendazole for some worms, etc…)
  2. The fungus: They can also be very big but unlike parasites and us, they do not have organs made by different kinds of specialized cells: no sex, no brain, no intestine, etc.. All the cells of fungus are nearly similar. But, with adequate nutrition, fungus are able to proliferate by themselves. The most famous fungus are "tinea" (on skin, scalp…), "candida" (mouth, buttocks…), etc. To kill the fungus, we use anti mycosis treatment like nystatin (for candida), fluconazole (tinea…)
  3. The bacteria. They are little and we need microscope to see them. One bacteria is one unique cell and of course do not have organs since each organ is made by thousands of cells! But, with adequate nutrition, a bacteria is able to make progeny by dividing themselves in 2 independent cells. Most famous bacteria are "staphylococcus", "streptococcus", "gonococcus", etc. To kill the bacteria which settle in our body, we use antibiotics. (cloxacillin for staphylococcus, penicillin for streptococcus…)
  4. The viruses. They are the most little microbes. We need an electronic microscope to see them. They are so little that we can insert hundreds of virus inside only one cell. In fact, a virus is just a little pack containing some genetic messages (DNA, RNA …). The virus is unable to reproduce himself by reading his own genetic material. The virus have to "inject" his genetic material inside a cell (can be a cell from us, from a parasite, a fungus cell or a bacteria). It is the infected cell which will read the genetic material of the virus and by that way execute the order of the virus (for instance, make new generation of virus or disturb the usual function of the host). Most famous viruses are "herpes", "hepatitis", "influenza"…and HIV. To kill a virus is something difficult to do since we can even not consider that a virus is alive… What we have to do is to kill the cells which reproduce the virus. But infected cells look exactly like uninfected cells! How the poison can recognize infected cells from non infected cells? Another strategy could be to attack the area inside the cells which are used to read the genetic material of virus… but how to find a poison which forbidden specifically the cell to execute the genetic material of virus without blocking the reading process of its native genetic material?

welcome page


"CD4" is the general of our defense army (our immunity system).

Fortunately, our body has an army to fight again microbes. It is our "immunity system". The soldiers of that army are the "white cells" of our blood. In any sophisticated army, the soldiers are divided in different kinds of specializations (marine, air, infantry, communication, MP, high officers, etc). The immunity system is the same. There are many different kinds of white cells in our blood (lymphocytes, polynuclears, neutrophiles, eosinophiles, monocytes, etc.). Each kind of white cells has his particular duty during a fight with the enemies of our body. Some are dedicated to recognize who is an enemy and who is not. Some will send information to other white cells, some will produce antibodies which can make enemy easier to recognize by other fighters, some will induce inflammatory reaction which is a way to prepare the battle field for easy battle, some are dedicated to "perforate" some kinds of bacteria, some will kill infected cells which include virus, some can "eat” and "digest" directly specific microbes, etc.)
A war is something so complex that each army needs a leading team (generals, colonels…) to organize the soldiers, to give orders and to elaborate complex strategies again enemies. It is the same for our immunity system. Some white cells are organizing the work of other white cells… One kind of those leading white cells that we can consider as the "generals" of the immunity system has a strange name: "CD4"….

welcome page


"HIV" loves our "CD4".

HIV is not a bacteria nor a fungus nor a parasite... but a virus (see up on same page)! HIV is a virus which is very interested to settle in our CD4 cells (see up on same page). It induces some paradoxes: for instance, HIV is using the leader of our immunity system to make its own progeny. Each time one of our "generals" (CD4) feels that we are attacked (infected), he has to give orders to the other white cells …but to be able to give orders the CD4 must read his own native genetic material. Each time the general reads his genetic material, he read also the genetic material of the virus since the virus has mixed his genetic material with the genetic material of the CD4. In other words, each time the general has to work, he produces some new viruses which go to infect the other generals which are not yet infected… And each time our own immunity system wants to kill the infected cells, it kills an important actor of our immunity system: the CD4.

Some scientists have found some drugs which try to reduce specifically the production of HIV viruses by our own infected CD4 cells but you can imagine that it is a delicate work. Side effects are enormous because infected and non infected CD4 cells is nearly identical. The drugs can not fight with absolute specificity. Never, in the human history, we had to fight with such clever enemy. We never had to fight again the generals of our own army!

It looks like a quite complex fight, but in reality, it is much more complicated. The description of the battle field with HIV is extremely simplified in this text to make it readable by persons who are not in the medical field. Readers who want to know more details about HIV and our immune system are invited to consult some dedicated websites or books…

welcome page



Like in all the armies of the world, if one general is killed, another general will take his position. When a CD4 cell dies because "too tired" with its perpetual production of viruses (see up definition of a virus), or because he is killed by a soldier who has received an order from another general (see up how work immunity), or because he is killed by a drug or any other therapeutic system, another CD4 cell will replace him. During an average of 7 years, the immunity system infected by HIV is still able to fight normally against nearly all common infections. During that time; the infected person can infect other persons with HIV but does not have any symptoms, any external signs indicating that he/she is living with HIV in his/her body. We call that the "latent period".

But slowly and surely, the total number of available generals goes down. After an average of 7 years, there are not enough CD4 anymore to replace the death one, to fight enemies of our body. (We can not receive the CD4 of another person by transfusion because coming from another person, the imported CD4 will simply consider that all his new environment is a "foreign body", a enemy to fight…)
After 7 years, we start a strange disease which is called “AIDS”.
A patient with AIDS still has a lot of soldiers (white cells) in his blood… but those soldiers are not organized because of the lack of generals, the lack of good orders and the lack of good immune strategies to fight enemies. The soldiers will make a lot of mistakes when working. For instance, they will not detect enemies which are usually easy to kill (pneumocystis, cryptococcus, toxoplasmosis, etc.). These mistakes will be the causes for what we call "opportunistic infections". Without adequate orders, the solders will sometimes be confused between an enemy and a part of our own body (cause of "auto immune disease"). Sometimes, soldiers will attack too strongly some molecules which are not dangerous for us (cause of "allergy"… including the allergy to some curative drugs). Sometimes, soldiers will not be able to make a clear distinction between our own abnormal cells which would be destroyed by our immunity system in normal conditions (cancer…), etc. Finally, without treatment, after around one year of perpetual fight, 8 years after contamination, the AIDS patient will die because too much is too much… the exhausted body is simply overtaken by the flux of diseases and refuses to fight longer.

Now we understand why AIDS can give so many kinds of symptoms and so many different diseases… Some are common diseases and some other diseases were extremely rare before the AIDS's era. Some are curable with "classic" medicines and some are not curable. There is no one way to die from AIDS but many ways. If you want to know more about the diseases (infectious or not) occurring during last stage of AIDS, go to visit "www.AIDS-HOSPICE.com"

welcome page


About transmission of HIV

To reach the dedicated page, click here

welcome page


About treatments

Scientists have now a few molecules able to interfere nearly specifically with the production of new HIV viruses by the infected cells. It means that we are able now to drastically reduce the number of viruses in the HIV infected body which becomes less contagious and less affected by the bad effects of AIDS. Of course such drugs are unable to eliminate the genetic material of the viruses which is totally integrated in the genetic material of our own cells... It means that, when an AIDS infected person stops to take such drugs, the genetic material of HIV is read again and the viral load is increasing directly...


The problems induced by those drugs are:

  • Side effects: nausea, vomiting; headache; psychological depression, etc. Side effects are enormous because infected and non infected CD4 cells is nearly identical. The drugs can not fight with absolute specificity.
  • Toxicity and allergy. Sometimes, the liver or the kidneys or the brain or the immunity system simply refuse some drugs. Toxicity and allergy can drive to death… skin reaction or hemorrhage or mucosal reaction are more common.
  • Incompatibility with some other curative drugs. It is common that an anti-HIV drug cannot be take with another drug which is useful to fight an opportunistic disease (some of the anti tuberculosis drugs for instance). If the two drugs are in the same blood in the same time, one of the two can loss its efficiency or increase the toxicity of the other, etc.
  • Rigorous constraints to observe. Some drugs must be take in empty stomach, some can not be take with alcohol, some can not be mix with particular aliments… but the main constraint is usually the timing : patient is oblige to take drugs in right time and never forget it…
  • Resistance : main cause of such resistance is the discontinuation of the treatment by the patient. Sometimes, to forget to take one drug only one time can induce resistance. There are other causes of resistance, including the misfortune of the patient... Problem is also that the resistance to one drug means often the resistance to a few other drugs which have nearly similar action. To be efficient the anti HIV regime must include 3 different drugs… with the resistances, the number of available drugs is dramatically decreasing.
  • Price :Only a few drugs are not expensive... Each time a virus become resistant to one drug, there is one or more kinds of drugs that you cannot use anymore... But you need 3 different active drugs for efficiency of treatment. You have then to enter in the field of expensive or extremely expensive drugs...