Among the components of the immune response are specialized white blood cells known as CD4 T-cells, whose main purpose is to sound the alert when disease-causing pathogens like HIV are present.
Ironically, they are also the same cells predominately targeted for infection by HIV. Over time, if left untreated, HIV will gradually deplete these cells, leaving the immune system effectively blind and progressively unable to defend itself.
ne of the goals of antiretroviral therapy (ART) is to restore the immune strength of an HIV-infected individual. By preventing the virus from actively replicating, ART helps the body mount its own recovery, reconstituting the CD4 population, ideally to normal levels.
But, the truth is, that doesn’t always happen.
In some cases, failure to reconstitute immune function is a direct result of suboptimal drug adherence, including inconsistent and/or incorrect dosing.
If viral activity is allowed to persist and the HIV viral load is not fully undetectable, CD4 cells can continue to be depleted, undermining the very goals of therapy.