The HIV virus that causes AIDS is said to have originated from non-human primates i. e. monkeys and chimpanzees in sub-Saharan Africa and was later transferred into humans in the late 19th century. It is thus proposed that the origin of HIV is the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) which affects monkeys given those strains of SIV found in monkeys and chimpanzees corresponds with those of HIV-1 and HIV-2 respectively and that it was transferred to human through Zoonosis. The spread of HIV from West Africa was concurrent with the development of colonial cities (Emlet, 20).
AIDS has become a pandemic due its high rate of mutation or variation making it escape thus rendering drug therapy ineffective. Additionally, developing countries are facing a rapid and uncontrolled spread of AIDS. This is attributed to ignorance, poverty and traditions which makes majority of these people to indulge in unprotected sexual behaviors thus facilitating the high rate of spread of the virus. HIV is a retrovirus which is part of lentivirus that attacks’ the immune system and they take a long time before they can produce any adverse effects in the body where it stays in a latent form.
Acquired Immune Deficiency (AIDS) is a condition that sets in when the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has killed many T-helper cells in the white cells resulting to lower immune system which cannot resist infections. The characteristics of the virus are that they have many strains and mutates rapidly. This has made its cure to be difficult given that it does escape vaccines or treatment (Emlet, 32). An infected person will only test positive at a seroconversion point which is the level in which the HIV antibodies are detectable.
HIV virus is transmitted through conduct of a mucous membrane or the blood stream with a bodily fluid containing HIV like blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk or preseminal fluid. Possible causes of the virus are; unprotected sex with a person who is infected which either be oral, anal or vaginal. Use of contaminated needle especially drug users, blood transfusions, and mother infecting her child during pregnancy, labor or after delivery via breast milk and any other exposure to one of the bodily fluids (Emlet, 43).
The effect of HIV virus is that it suppresses the T-helper cells by deranging or binding them together to the point that they become functionless thus not able to fight pathogens. Given that the immune system is down, the familiar AIDS complications like infections and neoplasm results. Consequently, further cell damage or cytopathy, oral health problems like candidiasis, kaposi’s sarcoma and AIDS dementia complex arises too. Moreover, it has the economical effect for it deprives the society its resources and manpower since the treatment for the disease is costly thus requiring a lot of money.
The most common symptoms of the virus infection in their primary stages are; fever, aching muscles and joints, swollen glands, sore throat and malaise. Mononucleosis, recurring respiratory tract infections, prostatitis, oral ulcerations, tuberculosis, and pneumonia are later symptoms of the condition in view of the fact that the body defense mechanisms have been tampered with. In conclusion, the HIV virus has become a universal concern given that no cure, vaccine or treatments have been found which can deal with the epidemic.
More research is being conducted on possible treatment and in the next twenty years, a solution could have been found. Continual usage of antiretroviral therapy, sex education and protected sex are key measures for dealing with AIDS (Emlet, 68). The research on a caraguard which is a microbicide gel derived from seaweed is believed to destroy viruses is being tried for prevention of the virus. The protein discovered within the T-cells which are attacked by the virus in order to suppress HIV replication thus there is hope for an effective treatment in the future.
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