top of page
biohazard viruses header.jpg

HIV  Virus 
Biohazard Level 3

Understanding HIV
Biohazard Level 3

Brief Overview of HIV as a Virus

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that targets the human immune system, primarily attacking CD4+ T cells, which play a crucial role in immune response.

Over time, HIV reduces the number of these cells in the body, weakening the immune system and increasing vulnerability to various infections and diseases.

This progression can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), the most severe phase of HIV infection, where the body's defense system is so compromised that it struggles to fight off opportunistic infections and diseases.

HIV Virus

Transmission of HIV

HIV is transmitted through the exchange of body fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk.

The most common modes of transmission are through unprotected sexual contact, sharing needles, and from mother to child during childbirth or breastfeeding. Since its identification in the early 1980s, significant advances in treatment have been made.

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) can manage the virus to the extent that it becomes undetectable in blood tests, significantly reducing the risk of transmission and allowing those with the virus to lead long, healthy lives.

Biohazard Level 3

HIV is classified as a Biohazard Level 3 pathogen due to its mode of transmission and the severity of the disease it can cause.

While HIV is primarily transmitted through direct contact with body fluids rather than through airborne routes, its classification as Level 3 is a reflection of the serious health implications it carries if not properly contained and managed.

 In laboratory settings, handling HIV requires stringent safety protocols to prevent accidental exposure, including the use of safety cabinets, personal protective equipment (PPE), and controlled access to areas where the virus is studied.

Why is HIV classified as Biohazard Level 3?

HIV is classified as a Biohazard Level 3 pathogen due to its mode of transmission and the severe health implications it can cause. This classification mandates stringent safety protocols in laboratory settings, including the use of safety cabinets, personal protective equipment (PPE), and controlled access to ensure safe handling and prevent accidental exposure.

What is HIV and how does it affect the immune system?

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that primarily targets CD4+ T cells in the human immune system, which are crucial for orchestrating an immune response. Over time, HIV reduces the number of these cells, weakening the immune system and increasing the risk of infections and diseases.

How does HIV progress to AIDS?

As HIV depletes CD4+ T cells in the body, the immune system becomes increasingly compromised. This progression weakens the body's ability to fight infections and diseases, eventually leading to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), the most severe phase of HIV infection, where the body struggles against opportunistic infections.

Other Biohazard Services We Offer

bottom of page