Immunodeficiency Virus Essay

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A strain of the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is said have originated in West African chimpanzees. Humans would hunt monkeys for food, causing them to come into contact with the infected blood. As the virus jumped from one host to another, it mutated into the HIV we know today. It is believed that HIV has existed since the 1800s, but these cases were not able to be tested due to lack of blood or tissue samples (History of HIV). The first case of HIV to ever be completely documented dates back to 1959 (Carmichael). However, the samples from this case were analyzed in 1998 and confirmed to be positive for HIV. Throughout that gap in time, the virus was only spreading. Those infected by it were unaware of what they had, let alone how to treat it. The first recorded cases in the United States happened in the 1950s.
HIV is contracted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids such as blood and sexual secretions. In most cases, it is acquired through unprotected sexual contact as well as the sharing of needles and other invasive equipment. Other, less likely, ways of transmission are breast milk, being born to an infected mother, being bitten by an
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As HIV enters the body, it invades the CD4 T-cells, reproduces, and then kills the cell. At this point, the infected person may not show any symptoms. However, some people may experience flu-like symptoms. As the cell count declines below 200, the person is then diagnosed with AIDS (CD4 Count). This is the final stage of HIV. The body is very susceptible to all types of diseases that would otherwise be difficult to contract. Indicators of AIDS include, but are not limited to: “rapid weight loss, memory loss, depression, reoccurring fever, extreme tiredness, colored blotches on or under the skin, diarrhea that lasts for more than a week, and prolonged swelling of the lymph glands in the armpit, groin, or neck” (Symptoms of

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