A Healthy Individual 's Immune System

1088 WordsMar 1, 20165 Pages
Definition A healthy individual’s immune system is able to combat pathogens, bacteria, infections and viruses that he or she may encounter on a daily basis. This becomes much harder for the individual once he or she is infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2015) defines HIV as a virus that attacks the immune system. The immune system is the body’s natural ability to protect itself against infections and diseases (CDC, 2015). When the immune system is damaged, the human body loses the ability to fight off disease and infections (CDC, 2015). The HIV virus is different from other viruses due to the fact that once the HIV virus enters the human body; the immune system could…show more content…
283). Furthermore, if a person refuses to seek treatment for HIV he or she will eventually develop an immunocompromised system due to the fact that the count of CD4 cells will be reduced drastically (CDC, 2015). As a result of this action, the individual is more susceptible to becoming infected with other infections or infection-related cancers due to the low count of T-cells (Chereshnev et al., 2013, p. 283). Chereshnev et al., (2013) list some of the diseases that correlate with a low count of CD4 cells and these are Mycobacterium tuberculosis, cancer such as lymphoma, and herpes viruses (p. 283). Etiology The CDC (2015) states that scientists have identified the source where HIV first originated. Sharp, P. M., and Hahn B. H. (2011) state that a type of chimpanzee located in Central Africa is the source of HIV (p. 2). Sharp et al. (2011) explain that this chimpanzee is infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) (p.2). SIV found in these chimpanzees is biologically similar to the HIV found in human beings (Sharp et al., 2011). Therefore, SIV is believed to have been transmitted to human by cutaneous or mucous membrane exposure to infected blood when hunters would go bushmeat hunting these chimpanzees as a source of food (Sharp et al., 2011, p. 10). Once these hunters became infected with SIV through contaminated blood from the chimpanzees, SIV mutated in the human body into what we know today as HIV (Sharp et al., 2011, p. 10). Sharp et al., (2011)
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