The life cycle of HIV

Let’s look at that definition of HIV again.

The ‘Human Immunodeficiency Virus’ (HIV) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. A healthy immune system provides a natural defence against disease and infection. HIV infects special cells, called CD4 cells that are found in the blood. These cells are responsible for fighting infection. After becoming infected, the CD4 cells are destroyed by HIV. Although the body will attempt to produce more CD4 cells, their numbers will eventually decline and the immune system will stop working. This leaves a person who is infected with HIV with a high risk of developing a serious infection or disease.

Below are five graphics, which illustrate how HIV attacks the body’s immune system. Try to place them in the correct order, by dragging them onto the timeline opposite. When played the imagery should correspond with the audio definition.

Watch this interview with Dr Iain Reeves carefully.
Try to identify key moments from the interview that you think help to explain how HIV attacks the body.

Now watch this animation by the Wellcome Trust, which illustrates the life cycle of HIV.

Print out a copy of the transcribed interview (from the pdf below) with Dr Reeves then select quotes where he describes the same process as that illustrated in the animation. Work in pairs to do this then compare your selections with those of another pair.