HIV & AIDS
University of Phoenix- Online
August 13, 2007
HIV & AIDS
In the early 1980’s there was a disease that plagued the world and claimed thousands of lives. It was a mystery as to where this horrible plague came from. Many thought it was a curse from God against gays since they seemed to be the only ones that were contracting this disease at that time. Researchers believed it came from the monkeys in Africa that were hunted and killed for food. At that time, there was a medical cure for everything so many people were not as careful of protecting themselves, so therefore, unprotected sex was not uncommon. No one was aware that this fatal disease was lurking with the intent to destroy. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and is the virus that causes AIDS. This infectious disease has been labeled as the only virus that attacks the immune system. When HIV first hit the mainstream, researchers and doctors spent a lot of time and money trying to figure out what it was and how to they were going to treat it. By the time it was discovered that HIV attacks the immune system, thousands of people were infected. Our immune system is how our bodies fight infection. According to the CDC, HIV finds and destroys a type of white blood cell (T cells or CD4 cells) that are essential for the immune system to fight off disease.
AIDS is known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. When someone’s immune system has been stripped of all the T cells that are required to fight any type of infection they have reached to last stage of HIV, which is AIDS. With all of the research and testing in search of a cure and better treatment, people who are infected with HIV can live for years without ever reaching the final stage. HIV is one member of the group of viruses known as retroviruses. The term "retrovirus" stems from the fact that these kinds of viruses are capable of copying RNA into DNA. No...