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19: The Lymphatic and Immune System

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    • 19.1: Introduction
      Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) turned out to be a new disease caused by the previously unknown human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Although nearly 100 percent fatal in those with active HIV infections in the early years, the development of anti-HIV drugs has transformed HIV infection into a chronic, manageable disease and not the certain death sentence it once was. One positive outcome resulting was that the public’s attention became focused on functional and healthy immune systems.
    • 19.2: Anatomy of the Lymphatic and Immune Systems
      The immune system is the complex collection of cells and organs that destroys or neutralizes pathogens that would otherwise cause disease or death. The lymphatic system, for most people, is associated with the immune system to such a degree that the two systems are virtually indistinguishable. The lymphatic system is the system of vessels, cells, and organs that carries excess fluids to the bloodstream and filters pathogens from the blood.

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