Overview of HIV Essay

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HIV, or the human immunodeficiency virus, is a virus found in human beings that primarily infects cells that are part of the immune system, but can affect other cell types as well. HIV is what is called a retrovirus, meaning it has the coding system of RNA opposed to DNA. AIDS is a virus that is caused by HIV and has many different symptoms that vary with different individuals. HIV causes symptoms such as severe infections that can lead to pneumonia and changes of the skin like red or purple patches. The virus can spread through sexual contact or the exchange of blood.
HIV can be transmitted through sexual contact, exchange of blood, and childbirth or breastfeeding. HIV is found at high concentrations in the bloodstream, meaning it can be transmitted to another person anytime blood is exchanged or transfused. HIV can also be transmitted through the use of contaminated needles used for injections. Pregnant women most often must be tested for HIV so they do not transmit the virus the their children. If a woman tests positive for HIV, then she is encouraged to take anti-retroviral drugs and/or delivering a child through caesarean section, or c-section. The HIV virus is only found in humans and cannot be found in any other organisms.
Symptoms of HIV can vary in different individuals and in different areas. Symptoms of HIV generally do not show up for two weeks to a month after infection, while the virus is spreading throughout the body. After this stage, known as the virus’s…

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