How much HIV can the body naturally extinguish altogether? Of course, there must be a point at which the body 'allows' HIV to come and then be removed.. I mean, if there is a single molecule / piece of HIV then of course this wouldn't infect a human for the rest of his / her life ?

What if there are 10 'pieces' or 100 'pieces' or 1000 'pieces' of the virus.. I suppose at some point the ability of the body to remove these is overcome by the rate at which these viruses reproduce? (Is that right?)

If I take a swab full of HIV and pat it on a cut on my arm.. that wouldn't necessarily mean I would become infected ? Perhaps only a little bit of HIV would get into my blood and be quickly killed off in my immune system? If I have sex with someone who has HIV but perhaps they did not pass me the HIV.. or perhaps only a few virus cells made their way into my body.. but then my body killed them off.. Is that possible?

Finally, if my body naturally aims to remove HIV virus then you would expect the levels to drop over time? Or have I misunderstood this. From the below information it seems to suggest that virus binds with this 'T-helper' cell and so cannot be removed because it essentially becomes 'a part' of your human body??

HIV cannot grow or reproduce on its own. Instead, the virus attaches itself to a T-helper cell and fuses with it. It then takes control of the cell’s DNA, replicates itself inside the cell, and finally releases more HIV into the blood – continuing the multiplication process. This is the HIV lifecycle. (Source: Avert.org)

  • It's a probability that depends upon many factors. So basically the more you are in contact with the virus, the more likely you'll be infected. Factors include "where is the contact with the virus", "how many viruses", body condition, etc.
    – Déjà vu
    Feb 10, 2020 at 7:53
  • I might be wrong, but is it even possible to calculate/estimate backwards from the lab tests what was the initial "number" of viruses? And if yes, can we learn anything practical from this? On the other hand, this question can be edited into really interesting one: What are currently confirmed transmission routes of infection?
    – Jan
    Feb 10, 2020 at 8:07


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