Hiv / Aids Paper : Human Immunodeficiency Virus Essay

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Daniel Reinhardt
Mrs. Paxson
AP Biology-D
5 January 2016
HIV / AIDS Paper Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that attacks the human immune system, your body’s means of defense. The virus attacks specific viral defense cells, known as CD4+. As the disease spreads and attacks more CD4+ cells, your body no longer maintains its’ ability to fight of infections and diseases which leads to the death of the host. The final stage of HIV is known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). During this stage of the virus, the host gets infected and sick easily and can no longer fight off infections. By this point, you are probably wondering exactly what a retrovirus is. A retrovirus is simply a virus that carries its genetic coding in the form of RNA instead of DNA. The name retrovirus was coined because of the viral groups’ containment of an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. This enzyme transcribes RNA into DNA, which reverse the usual flow of genetic information found in nature. Actions caused by reverse transcriptase make it possible for the genetic information of the virus to become permanently incorporated into the host DNA. The specific HIV retrovirus attacks the body’s defense CD4+ cells, and can cause rare cancers and tumor growths. There have been two strains of HIV identified in the world, HIV 1 and HIV 2. Both strains of the virus produce the same effects, but are still very different. One of the ways in which the two strains differ is by where they
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