How does HIV affect the cells?

HIV finds the white blood cells, called CD4 cells. HIV gets inside the CD4 cell and makes copies of itself. Then, HIV kills the CD4 cell and the new HIV copies find other CD4 cells to get inside and start the cycle again. HIV kills immune system cells that help the body fight infections and diseases.

What cells does HIV mainly affect?

HIV infects a type of white blood cell in the body’s immune system called a T-helper cell (also called a CD4 cell). These vital cells keep us healthy by fighting off infections and diseases. HIV cannot reproduce on its own.