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Cause

The HIV infection is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

After HIV is in the body, it starts to destroy CD4+ cells, which are white blood cells that help the body fight infection and disease.

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HIV, AIDS, and the CD4 Count

CD4 cells are a type of white blood cell that fights infection. Another name for them is T-helper cells. CD4 cells are made in the spleen, lymph nodes, and thymus gland, which are part of the lymph or infection-fighting system. CD4 cells move throughout your body, helping to identify and destroy germs such as bacteria and viruses. The CD4 count measures the number of CD4 cells in a sample of your blood drawn by a needle from a vein in your arm. Along with other tests, the CD4 count helps tell how...

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HIV is spread when blood, semen, or vaginal fluids from an infected person enter another person's body, usually through sexual contact, from sharing needles when injecting drugs, or from mother to baby during birth.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 13, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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