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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens for Healthcare Personnel. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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What Causes HIV Infection?

HIV infection is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus. The infection occurs when HIV enters a person's bloodstream, where it attacks and kills the helper T-cells. Helper T-cells are part of a group of white blood cells known as lymphocytes that are essential for fighting off infections.

As the numbers of these cells decreases, so does the body's ability to fight infection.