Essay on Human Immunodeficiency Virus ( Hiv )

1610 Words Nov 12th, 2015 7 Pages
What is HIV?
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a Lentivirus from the family Retroviridiae[1] ,which infects CD4+ T cells, dendritic cells and macrophages[2]. This results in a loss in immune function and eventually acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) when CD4+ cell count is very low[3]. There were approximately 1.5 million deaths in 2013 as a result of HIV-related causes[4] , many of these deaths occur due to the immune system being too weak to defend itself against opportunistic infections [5].
HIV has 2 different forms, HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-2 is less virulent and also less infective, limiting it to West Africa because of its lower transmission rate[6] . HIV-1 is further divided into M,N, O and P groups, with M being the pandemic form of HIV, while N,O and P are restricted to west Africa and account for fewer than 1% of global HIV-1 infections[7]. HIV-1 has been thought to originate from chimpanzees in Cameroon, with humans being infected by HIV-1 precursors through exposure with infected chimpanzee fluids. On the other hand HIV-2 originates from sooty mangabeys in West Africa and the transmission of its associated HIV-2 precursor to humans is likely due exposure to blood due to hunting them as pests[7].
HIV Replication in host cell
Figure 1 (taken from Nature Reviews Microbiology [8]) Showing cell entry, integration, transcription, translation, assembly and release of the HIV virus. As well as sites for antiretrovirals to act (shown in green boxes)


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