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    I know that their effectiveness is reduced since t helper cells become infected and die which results in less activation of b cells and t killer cells. But does the actual number of t killer cells increase soon after infection?
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    (Original post by imedico10)
    I know that their effectiveness is reduced since t helper cells become infected and die which results in less activation of b cells and t killer cells. But does the actual number of t killer cells increase soon after infection?
    Hi!
    After puberty, the thymus begins to shrink and the production of T cells in adults is lower, although it does continue throughout life. Despite this lowered production, the immune system of a healthy individual remains strong because the already existing T cells are functioning properly.
    However, for a person who is infected with HIV, the T cells that are already present are under attack from the virus and their numbers start depleting. Put this along with the lowered production by the thymus and you see that the overall efficiency of the immune system is greatly lowered, which is what makes them susceptible to opportunistic infections. Furthermore, the new T-cells produced by the thymus are also infected by the virus so there is net reduction in the number of functioning T cells in an HIV-infected individual.

    Sorry, I realised you meant "soon after infection" so here's something I found:
    An HIV infection is typically divided into four stages: acute primary infection, clinical latent infection, symptomatic HIV infection, and progression from HIV to AIDS.Acute Primary InfectionWithin the first few weeks of contracting HIV, 70 percent of people will experience flu-like symptoms—fever, headache, upset stomach, and muscle soreness are among the most common initial signs of an HIV infection. A positive diagnosis is possible at this stage, but many will not associate their symptoms with an HIV infection, unaware they have contracted the virus.During the acute primary infection, HIV-infected cells are circulating throughout the blood system. Your body responds by producing HIV antibodies and cytotoxic lymphocytes (killer T-cells that seek out and destroy invading viruses or bacteria). Two to four weeks after infection, the immune system mounts an attack against the HIV with these antibodies and killer T-cells. HIV levels in the blood will be greatly reduced, and CD4+ T-cell counts rebound slightly.


    Hope this helps!
 
 
 
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