AIDS – A HORRENDOUS DISEASE
|AIDS VIRUS (MYSTERY CRACKED)
In a major medical breakthrough which may enormously help in prevention of spread of HIV among women, the scientists have cracked the mystery as to how AIDS virus finds its way into the female reproductive tract. The scientist have claimed to have resolved the mystery how AIDS virus crosses epithelial cells which keep out infection and thus infects women’s reproductive tract. In the words of researchers -” what it (HIV virus) does is that it makes the electrical barriers resistance of epithelial cells decrease and thus cross the barriers. “
The study which was published in a journal further reveals that HIV breaks down the protective mucosal barrier in the intestinal and the female genital tract , allowing the virus to cross during intercourse. The research further discloses that the breakdown appears ro be due to inflammatory factors produced by epithelial cells and gives HIV and other microbes access to inside the body.
The team of the researchers furst grew purified primary epithelial cells in the laboratory from small pieces of tissues that were removed from women’s uterus during hysterctomies. The team then studied how HIV virus infects these cells . What the researchers observed during this experiment was that everytime they put HIV on epithelial cells their resistance decreased significantly. Repeated test confirmed the fact that the surface protein of the virus causes the epithelial barrier to break .
It may be noted here that half of the 40 million people infected with HIV are women.
SOME FACTS ABOUT AIDS
A positive HIV test does not mean that a person has AIDS. A diagnosis of AIDS is made by a physician according to the AIDS Definition.
Over time infection with HIV ( Human Immuno deficiency virus) can weaken the immune system to the point that the system has difficulty in fighting certain bacterias causing infections. Many of the infections that cause problems or that can be life threatening for people with AIDS are usually controlled by a healthy immune system.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIV AND AIDS
HIV IS THE VIRUS THAT CAUSES AIDS.
- H – HUMAN : because this virus can only infects human beings.
- I – IMMUNO -DEFICIENCY : because the effect of the virus is to create a deficiency, a failure to work properly, within the body’s immune system.
- V – VIRUS : because this organism is a virus which means one of its characteristic is that it is capable of reproducing by itself.
- A – ACQUIRED : because its conditions one must acquire or get infected with.
- I – IMMUNE : because it affects the body’s immune system.
- D – DEFICIENCY : because it makes the immune system deficient.
- S – SYNDROME : because someone with AIDS may experience a wide range of different disease and opportunistic infections.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR HIV TO CAUSE AIDS ?
Currently, the average time between HIV infection and the appearance of signs that could lead to an AIDS diagnosis is 8-11 years. This time varies from person to person and can depend on many factors including a person’s health status and behaviour. Today there are medical treatment that can slow down the action of HIV that weakens the immune system. There are other treatments to prevent or cure some of the illnesses associated with AIDS.
WHERE DID HIV COME FROM ?
The most recent presentation on the origin of HIV was presented at the 6th conference on Retroviruses
and opportunistic Infections ( chicago, January 1999). At that conference, research was presented and suggested that HIV had “crossed over ” into the human population from a particular species of Chimpanzees
, probably through blood contact that occurred during hunting and field dressing of animals. The findings of researches presented at this conference provided the strongest evidence to date that HIV -1 in non human primates. In 1982 the centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
officially named the AIDS.
|HIV (AIDS) RETROVIRUSES
ACTIVITIES THAT ALLOW HIV TRANSMISSION :
Direct blood contact, including injecting drug needles ,blood transfusions, accident in health care settings or certain blood products.
Mother to baby ( before or during birth, or through breast milk )
Sexual intercourse (vaginal and anal ): In the genitals and the rectum, HIV may infect the mucous membranes directly or enter through Cuts and sores caused during intercourse. Vaginal and anal intercourse is a high risk practice.
Sharing injection needles : An injection needle can pass blood directly from one person to another. This practice is common in drug addicted persons. It is very efficient way to transmit a blood borne virus. Sharing needles is a high risk practice.
Mother to baby : It is possible for an infected mother to pass the virus directly before or during birth or through breast milk.
CAN ONE GET HIV FROM Kissing ?
Casual contact through closed mouth or social kissing is not a risk for transmission of HIV. Because the potential for contact with blood during “French “or open mouth, wet kissing, doctors recommend to avoid in this activity with a person known to be infected. However the risk of acquiring HIV during open -mouth kissing is believed to be very low.
HIV is not transmitted by day to day contact in the home,the workplace, schools or social sittings.
HIV is not transmitted through shaking hands, hugging or casual kiss.One cannot get infected from a toilet seat, a drinking fountain, a doorknob, dishes, drinking glasses, food or pets.
HIV is a fragile virus that does not live long outside the body. HIV is not an airborne or food borne virus. HIV is present in the blood, semen, vaginal secretions of an infected person and can be transmitted through Unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex or through sharing injected drug needles.
DO THE NEW DRUGS WE HEAR ABOUT CURE AIDS ?
There is no cure for AIDS, but these drugs helping to prolong the lives of many people with AIDS and delaying the onset of AIDS in many people with HIV.
Humanity has rarely witnessed as dreaded a scourage as AIDS. As of today, there is no cure for AIDS. So by imbibing the maxim : ” prevention is better than cure “. and as such educating the public about the ways and modes of transmission of this horrendous disease.
We may hope to check the rampaging HIV .