The Human Immunodeficiency Virus ( Hiv )

862 WordsNov 6, 20144 Pages
In 1981, the first cases of severe immune system deterioration were recognized developed unusual infections. The new disease was later named "AIDS". At that time, no one knew what was causing the disease. Since then, science has shown that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the cause of AIDS. More than 33.4 million people worldwide are infected with the HIV virus today. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency virus. HIV is a virus similar to that of the flu or common cold. The differentiating factor is that with the flu and cold, your body will eventually clear the virus out of your system, but with the HIV virus, the immune system cannot clear it. Getting HIV means you have it for life. The virus immediately begins attacking the cells in your body called T-cells or CD4 calls. These cells are used by the body to fight infections and diseases. When the HIV virus attacks these cells, they duplicate themselves. Most people are not even aware that they are infected with the HIV virus for long periods of time, sometimes even years. The symptoms of HIV often start with flu-like symptoms such as swollen glands, fever, sore throat, rash, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and headaches. This is called “acute retroviral syndrome;” it is the body’s natural reaction to contracting the HIV virus. The symptoms can last from days to weeks. Many people who are infected with HIV do not even show signs for 10 years or more. The next stage is the “clinical latency” stage.
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