IMMUNOLOGICAL AND BIOLOGICAL PARAMETERS OF DISEASE
The pattern of disease progression has now been well documented. Following infection with the virus, the virus hones to and infects cells with CD4 receptors. During the early phase, individuals may experience a flu-like illness with mild fever, cough and occasional chills. The symptoms subside, and the individual may be asymptomatic for many years. In realty, the disease is progressing, and it is a long battle between the immune response with production new CD4 cells and the dying (apoptotic) HIV-infected CD4 cells. Eventually, the host immune system deteriorates, and the individual succumbs to the complications secondary to loss of the cellular immune system. The pattern and complications are quite similar to those seen in primary immunodeficiency diseases. However, it has been a well-known observations that some individuals, especially sex workers with repeated exposure to the virus, are relatively resistant to HIV acquisition.