Eradication Of HIV And AIDS

704 Words 3 Pages
1. Introduction

HIV and AIDS were first discovered in the United States in 1981 and since then more cases have been reported (Epidemiology and Disease , 2001). To date, more than 35 million people around the world are estimated to live with this virus. In 2013 alone, about 1.5 million people died because of this virus (Nathan W. Cummins, 2015).
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus which targets the white blood cells, thereby disabling the immune system (CD4+T cells and macrophages) from fighting infections. The replication of this virus within the human body results in the reduction of the immune system cells, leading to a lower CD4 count, that is, the number of CD4+T cells in the immune system (Matthew D. Marsden 2013). This reduction
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This ultimately results in death. Therefore if HIV is cured, which I believe it’s possible, AIDS can be prevented and no deaths can occur due to it.
2. Eradication of HIV and AIDS
Since the discovery of this virus and syndrome, more and more scientists spend numerous hours in laboratories in search of vaccines and solutions. A number of approaches for HIV eradication are currently being investigated. Some of these approaches are categorised as gene therapy and gene transplantation that are intended to stop HIV replication, protect the immune system cells from HIV infection and to flush out the latent virus (Matthew D. Marsden, 2013) According to Blanco (2013), Dr Deborah Persuad of John Hopkins reported a case of an infant cured of HIV. The baby tested positive for HIV and was treated with a combination of antiretroviral 30 hours after birth. This treatment was administered for a period of 18 months. Five months later after being taken off the treatment, only minor and harmless traces of the HIV virus were found in the child. This alone shows the possibilities that exist to eradicate this epidemic
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So far HAART has proven to be successful in supressing HIV replication. All patients who are currently undergoing HAART show very low levels of HIV in their system (Douglas et al, 2009). This means that the virus cannot be detected using clinical essays even though it is not totally eradicated from the body.
2.2. Gene Therapy
Amongst other approaches that are investigated is Gene therapy that is target at eradicating HIV. During this therapy, the Therapeutic genes are introduced into CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells. As these cells differentiate, the introduced genes will be present and expressed in progeny cells. In this way CD4+T cells can be produced that are resistant to HIV infection or encode genes for anti HIV factors (Matthew D. Marsden, 2013).
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