Overview Of HIV

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HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This is a virus that attacks the immune system. Originally isolated in Paris in May 1983 by Luc Montagnier, HIV belongs to a group of viruses called retroviruses.
Viruses copy their genetic material into the genetic material of human cells, meaning infected cells stay infected for the rest of their lives. Viruses cannot replicate outside a living cell. When a virus replicates, it may do so with accuracy or with error (known as a mutation). Because of viral mutation, or errors in copying itself, HIV can vary from one individual to another. The ability of the virus to change is also how it can, at times, evade suppression by antiretroviral therapy. (htpps://aidsinfo.nih.gov/education-materials/fact-sheets/19/58/f)
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The first stage is Stage 1. During this acute period one may experience headache, fever, muscle aches, sore throat, rashes. The second stage known as Clinical Latency, some symptoms may be swelling of lymph nodes. The third stage Severe Symptoms, one may experience severe headaches, blurred vision, shortness of breath, diarrhea, rashes, and other symptoms. (NIH)
One of the treatments for AIDS/HIV is the use of anti-retroviral medications. This form of therapy is highly recommended for those with the virus. The use of medications as part of the treatment plan does not ensure a cure, it does however help with the progression of the disease and symptoms. Some of the medications may even help with stopping the spread of the HIV virus. The regimen of medications is tailored to the individual patient. There are several different categories of medications available. (NIH)
Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs) work by blocking reverse transcriptase, which is an enzyme that the HIV virus needs to make copies of itself. Some of the medications in this category are; Ziagen, Videx, Epivir, Zerit and Retrovir (AZT) Retrovir is the first medication to be produced in the fight against AIDS.
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So far, the only medication approved for this is Tybost. (Gunthard)
Combination HIV Medicines work by combining two or more medications from different categories. The first HIV med was approved by the FDA on March 19, 1987. The most current medication developed was approved by the FDA on April 4, 2016. Every day, researchers are working on new drugs, hoping for a cure to be found. (Gunthard)
In my research, I have come across a case known as the “Berlin Patient” (Allers) This is a gentleman who is an HIV-positive man who developed acute myeloid leukemia, received successful treatment and subsequently experienced a relapse in 2007 that required a transplant of stem cells.” Because he was both HIV+ and had leukemia, the doctors involved with his care decided to do a transplant, using a donor whose stem cells were unusual because they had a mutation inherited from both parents that resulted in CD4 cells that lacked the CCR5 receptor. This mutation, called CCR5 delta 32 homozygosity, is present in less than 1% of Caucasians in northern and western Europe, and is associated with a reduced risk of becoming infected with HIV.”

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