Hiv, The Human Immunodeficiency Virus

1108 WordsDec 13, 20165 Pages
HIV, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, was first discovered by CDC in 1981 [3], then described as HTLV-III in 1983 and was later changed into its current name. Ever since its emergence, this virus has caused millions of infections throughout the world, with most of the cases originating in the African region [1]. This retrovirus has made it difficult in the past for scientists to treat it since it changes its RNA once inside the cell to DNA, through the enzyme reverse transcriptase, and keeps changing its genetic information making it difficult to target a specific genome. The main concern of HIV is the development into AIDS, Acquired Immunodeficiency Disorder, which targets the body’s own T-cells through targeting the CD4 and co-receptors leading to various opportunistic infections and, eventually, death. What does it mean to be HIV positive these days, how do we get it, and does it always lead to mortality? In the past, if someone was diagnosed with the virus, there was a very slight chance that they were going to survive it (There’s a substantial increase in HIV patients being treated compared with the 1990s). However, with the ever-changing science and medical techniques, this is not the case anymore. New drugs are constantly being developed to prevent the progression of the virus to AIDS. These drugs target different steps of its life cycle, depending on the mechanism of the drug. The virus is transmitted sexually (seminal or vaginal fluids), or through
Open Document