THE HIV LIFE CYCLE

DEFINITIONS
There are few things you need to know in order to understand HIV infection.

DNA : DNA is like the "blueprint" for building living cells.

Enzymes : Enzymes are like the workers of a cell. They build new proteins, transport materials around the cell, and carry out other important cellular functions.

RNA : RNA is like the construction boss. Cells use RNA to tell enzymes how to build a specific part of a cell. To make a new protein, enzymes will copy a specific part of the DNA into a piece of RNA. This RNA is then used by other enzymes to build a new protein or enzyme.
Proteins : The building blocks that are used to make living things.
Nucleus : A small package inside the cell where the genetic material is kept.

ACTIVATION PROCESS
Step 1: Binding
A virus consists of an outer envelope of protein, fat and sugar wrapped around a set of genes (in the case of HIV, genetic information is carried as RNA instead of DNA) and special enzymes.

HIV has proteins on its envelope that are strongly attracted to the CD4+ surface receptor on the outside of the T4-cell. When HIV binds to a CD4+ surface receptor, it activates other proteins on the cell's surface, allowing the HIV envelope to fuse to the outside of the cell.

Step 2: Reverse Transcription
HIV's genes are carried in two strands of RNA, while the genetic material of human cells is found in DNA. In order for the virus to infect the cell, a process called "reverse transcription" makes a DNA copy of the virus's RNA.

After the binding process, the viral capsid (the inside of the virus which contains the RNA and important enzymes) is released into the host cell. A viral enzyme called reverse transcriptase makes a DNA copy of the RNA. This new DNA is called "proviral DNA."

Step 3: Integration
The HIV DNA is then carried to the cell's nucleus (center), where the cell's DNA is kept. Then, another viral enzyme called integrase hides the proviral DNA into the cell's DNA. Then, when the cell tries to make new proteins, it can accidentally make new HIVs.

Step 4: Transcription
Once HIV's genetic material is inside the cell's nucleus, it directs the cell to produce new HIV.

The strands of viral DNA in the nucleus separate, and special enzymes create a complementary strand of genetic material called messenger RNA or mRNA (instructions for making new HIV).

Step 5: Translation
The mRNA carries instructions for making new viral proteins from the nucleus to a kind of workshop in the cell. Each section of the mRNA corresponds to a protein building block for making a part of HIV.

As each mRNA strand is processed, a corresponding string of proteins is made. This process continues until the mRNA strand has been transformed or "translated" into new viral proteins needed to make a new virus.

Step 6: Viral Assembly
Finally, a new virus is assembled. Long strings of proteins are cut up by a viral enzyme called protease into smaller proteins. These proteins serve a variety of functions; some become structural elements of new HIV, while others become enzymes, such as reverse transcriptase.

Once the new viral particles are assembled, they bud off the host cell, and create a new virus. This virus is then able to infect new cells. Each infected cell can produce a lot of new viruses.
HIV AIDS treatment is not complicated, knowing what drugs you are taking, how they work against HIV, and why it is so important to take them as prescribed (on time, with or without food, etc.) can really help in the fight against HIV. HIV AIDS treatment is safer, if your treatment consists of toxic free, side-effect free medications. HIV AIDS treatment becomes more comfortable, if your treatment doesn’t ask for switching on to new drug combination because of drug resistance. HIV AIDS treatment is not complicated, knowing what drugs you are taking, how they work against HIV, and why it is so important to take them as prescribed (on time, with or without food, etc.) can really help in the fight against HIV. HIV AIDS treatment is safer, if your treatment consists of toxic free, side-effect free medications. HIV AIDS treatment becomes more comfortable, if your treatment doesn’t ask for switching on to new drug combination because of drug resistance.