Posted: October 24th, 2013
Wellness Journal 7
One hypothesis why certain individuals are protected from against HIV infection revolves around the nature of their cytotoxic T cells. This hypothesis suggests that the T cells of these individuals function better and faster at identifying contaminated T helper cells. This fast recognition allows the body to rid itself of the HIV before it replicates inside the T helper cells. Another hypothesis why certain individuals are protected from HIV infection is centered on the nature of T helper cells. In this case, individuals falling in this category exhibit strong T helper cells that prevent HIV infection and replication. The infection and replication of a T helper cell by the HIV involves a long process. Interrupting this process before it is complete prevents infection. The T helper cells in this case are strong enough to interrupt this process. Another hypothesis holds that long-term survivors of HIV infection eventually develop potent antibodies that prevent the virus from further replication.
Paxton’s hypothesis proposes two categories of people protected from HIV infection. These categories include super cytotoxic T cells and super T helper cells. The super cytotoxic T cells category includes people with T cells that function efficiently at recognizing HIV-contaminated T helper cells. The category includes people with strong T helper cells capable of halting the process of HIV infection and replication. Individuals capable of developing extremely potent antibodies after HIV infection fall under the category of super cytotoxic T cells. This is because the antibodies eventually develop the ability of detecting the presence of HIV infection and prevent further replication.
To substantiate if the method of resistance against HIV is through super T Helper Cells or Super Cytotoxic T Cells, Paxton performed an experiment. This experiment involved isolating T helper and cytotoxic cells from all individuals. He placed the cells in test tubes and mixed them with the HIV. The test samples were bound to reveal two contrasting results. In cases where an individual’s resistance to the virus came from super T helper cell, the sample with super cytotoxic cells was contaminated. In cases where an individual’s resistance to the virus came from super cytotoxic cells, the sample with the super T helper cell was contaminated.
Protection from HIV infection among control individuals depends on whether their protection comes from cytotoxic T cells. If these individuals have strong cytotoxic T cells, then they will be safe from HIV infection. However, if the protection comes from super T helper cell, the control individuals cannot be protected from infection by super cytotoxic T cells. Hence, cytotoxic T cells may or may not protect control individual from HIV infection.
1. Indeed a person looking to have their genotype tested can be allowed to use the CCR5 gene test. Using this procedure leads to damage of the gene receptors. Normally, the HIV accesses a cell through the CCR5 receptors. If these receptors are destroyed, entry of the virus into the cell becomes impossible, thus preventing infection.
2. Even though continued exposure is needed to prolong protection against the HIV, I would advise a person with protection against HIV-1 to cease engaging in risky activities. The reason behind this recommendation is that the mechanisms causing the protection have not been understood fully. This raises the possibility that the protection may continue or stop.
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