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We always read that HIV infects CD4 cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells. However, is it a common event for HIV to infect non-immune cells within a host? If not, why?

And also if not, why are immune cells the main target of HIV? I could not find information on Google or Google Scholar on this topic. I imagine it doesn't have to do solely with the presence of the expression of co-receptors such as CD4, CCR5, CXCR-4, DC-SIGN etc that attract the virus only to immune cells.

I would like a more complete explanation than this obvious one. For instance, what advantages are provided for the virus to prefer infecting immune cells over non-immune cells?

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  • $\begingroup$ I guess that by infecting immune cells the virus is further improving its chances of survival. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Mar 13 at 9:55
  • $\begingroup$ I find it fascinating that HIV spreads during the latency period (aprox. 8-10 years) within lymph nodes, killing more than 1 billion immune cells per day. It is ironic that one would expect that lymph nodes are one of the most secure places within the body as they are patrolled by immune cells. However, it turns out that HIV is safe there. I find this fascinating. It's like the Trojan Horse story, except at a microscopic level and in real life. $\endgroup$ – mellamoleon Mar 13 at 18:31

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