Human Immunodeficiency Virus

776 Words 4 Pages
Human Immunodeficiency Virus, more commonly known as HIV, is a potentially fatal virus that is spread and contracted by humans. Unlike many other viruses that are transmitted HIV has the potential to hide from the human immune system, which prevents the virus from being destroyed. HIV does this by synthesizing a protein known as Nef. This protein aids the virus by convincing the host cell that the virus is actually part of the normal cellular waste, rather than displaying it on the surface of the host cell to be recognized and destroyed. Once the viral RNA is inside the host cell it does not reproduce immediately. Instead, the viral RNA must undergo reverse transcription, which will convert it into DNA before entering into the lysogenic cycle …show more content…
As CD4 cells begin to decrease, the risk of being unable to fight off any type of infection increases. Without treatment during this attacking process HIV can destroy the immune system and progress to AIDS. Two of the most commonly misconstrued subjects of the human immunodeficiency virus are the treatment and transmission of HIV. Many individuals believe that once a person contracts HIV they will undoubtedly advance to AIDS and eventually die. However, in many instances this is not the case due to advanced medical practices and medications that we now have to access to. Although, there is no cure for HIV the treatment method begins with antiretroviral therapy, which consists of a combination of HIV medications. This form of treatment hinders the HIV virus from multiplying and reduces the amount of HIV in the infected individual. However, just like with any medication there may be side effects associated with the medicines that may make the treatment process difficult for some infected individuals. Transmission is the second misconstrued topic of HIV that many individuals struggle to comprehend. HIV is transmitted in a variety of ways including via …show more content…
In the United States two of the most common forms of transmission are sexual intercourse and sharing intravenous drug equipment. Unlike “dry” skin, mucous membranes are susceptible to HIV transmission due to the fact that this “wet” skin is not covered in protective fibers. Once the body has been exposed to HIV, the HIV will cross the epithelial layer of mucous membrane. After entering the mucous membrane HIV begins the replication process and will eventually enter the blood and lymph system and begin spreading to other parts of the body. Following initial exposure and infection the individual may begin to experience early symptoms such as fever, swollen glands, excessive fatigue, etc. Given the fact that these symptoms may not begin until nearly 2-4 weeks after initial exposure and may only last a few days they are easily mistaken to be the common cold. Like previously stated there is currently no cure for HIV. However, scientists do believe that they will discover a cure in the years to come with a technique simply stated to re-engineer the

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