Killing of CD4 lymphocytes and systemic immune suppression are the hallmarks of HIV infection. These milestones are produced by different mechanisms that draw a complex picture of AIDS immunopathogenesis. The role of the GALT system as a preferential target for HIV, chronic activation of the immune system and viral escape mechanisms are recent challenges that have changed our current view on the mechanisms leading to immune destruction and development of AIDS. In this article, the mechanisms of immune suppression, the evolution of immune response throughout the infection and the mechanisms of viral escape are analysed.
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