Essay Hiv And The Human Immunodeficiency Virus

1375 Words Jul 1st, 2016 6 Pages
Few things are as devastating as disease or terminal illness. Several diseases have made an appearance or re-emergence over the last couple of decades – HIV being among the most prevalent and devastating. HIV, or the human immunodeficiency virus, “is a chronic infectious disease passed from one person to another through blood-to-blood or sexual contact” (Hoeger, Hoeger, Hoeger, & Fawson, 2015). HIV was originally formed in chimpanzees in Central Africa, and spread to humans through infected blood (What is HIV/AIDS?, 2015). Once the virus has entered into the body, it replicates and attacks and kills white blood cells. This causes a drastic decrease of the body’s ability to fight of infection.
The low immune system presence leaves plenty of room for opportunistic diseases – “Infections that arise in the absence of a healthy immune system which would fight them off in healthy people” (Hoeger, Hoeger, Hoeger, & Fawson, 2015). The absence of white blood cells make it easier for otherwise benign bacteria, viruses, and infections to take hold of the body’s systems. For example, the common cold would be more detrimental in someone who is infected with the HIV versus a healthy counterpart. The lowered immune system also increases the chances of cancer developing.
HIV can be spread via unprotected sex, sharing of hypodermic needles, and can also be spread from mother to infant during birth and breast feeding (Nucleus Medical Media, 2013). Once the virus is in the system, it attacks a…

Related Documents