*(English)*Zbl 0683.92001

Summary: [For the entire collection see Zbl 0682.00023.]

The interactions between the human immune system and HIV are potentially complex. In this paper I review some of these interactions and sketch the beginnings of a general model that can potentially account for many of the immunological consequences of HIV infection. This model involves a large number of ordinary differential equations and many parameters. To make progress, I simplify the general model and develop a four-equations model that involves free HIV and uninfected, latently infected and actively infected $CD{4}^{+}T$ cells. Using reasonable guesses for parameter values, I show that this model can account for some of the puzzling features of AIDS: the long latent period, the almost complete absence of free virus particles, the low frequency of infected T4 cells and the slow T cell depletion seen during the course of the disease. Further, the model suggests why the latent period may be significantly shorter in children than in adults.