The Human Immunodeficiency Virus ( Hiv )

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The Uses of Blood by the HIV Virus Blood-borne diseases have contributed greatly to poor health outcomes among individuals and communities. Though blood fulfills various functions to ensure our survival, it can also act as the mechanism through which we become diseased. Understanding the characteristics of such infectious diseases is essential to preventing further cases. In this paper I will discuss how the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) uses blood to cause illness within the infected individual and transmit to others. In particular, this paper will assess the implications of HIV/AIDS for individuals, between people, and in societies. The outbreak of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was first recognized in the 1980s in the…show more content…
This event was important in demonstrating the ability of HIV to spread through blood, along with other bodily fluids. One way that blood is used by HIV/AIDS is to cause illness within those who become infected. While pathogens may be spread through various routes, the HIV virus is commonly transmitted by blood and other bodily fluids because it does not survive for a long duration outside of the body (Avert, 2014b). Though previous studies have reported the potential of HIV to thrive in an external environment for several weeks, the survival of the virus is dependent on several factors including quantity of the fluid, virus concentration, and the surrounding temperature and acidity (Aidsmap, 2015). As such, HIV is transmitted best when it comes into direct contact with people. The optimal route of exposure is through the bloodstream or mucous membranes of the body (AIDS.gov, 2014a). Pathways of the blood allow the HIV virus to contact and destroy immune cells. Individuals may feel flu-like symptoms a few weeks after being infected. However, many are unaware of their infection, though contagious, until later stages of the disease (World Health Organization [WHO], 2014). The destructive actions of HIV lead to increased susceptibility to other infections and the development of certain cancers, which characterizes the later stage of HIV known as AIDS (WHO, 2014). Blood has shown to greatly contribute to the ability of HIV to thrive in
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