What is AIDS? Edit
AIDS is a syndrome that is caused by the HIV virus. The HIV virus (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system, and makes it too weak to fight off infections. If one becomes infected they find it much harder to fight off diseases and illnesses. AIDS connects to HIV because it develops when the HIV infection is too advanced. This occurs in the last stage of the infection where the body cannot defend itself any longer and will develop different diseases which could lead to death. AIDS stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and it is important that when one is diagnosed they have regular consultations with their doctor. One can live with the HIV virus for 10-15 years, and with treatment a person with AIDS typically lives up to 3 years after they've reached the final stage. There is currently no cure for HIV/AIDS therefore it is important that one tries to protect themselves as prevention is the most important step.
How does AIDS Affect the Immune System? Edit
The immune system is very important in the process of protecting the body from foreign invaders. HIV specifically targets cells called CD4, which are a vital player in the regulation of immune responses in the body. The virus infects the cells and uses them to multiply, by doing this, the virus destroys the ability of the infect cells as they aren't able to do their jobs in the immune system. As a result of this, the body loses its ability to fight off infections. As the cells weaken, in an untreated person 10 billion to 100 billion new viruses are produced each day. When the cell goes through the process of mitosis it continues to replicate the HIV inside of it continuously spreading the disease to the new cells being made.
Signs and Symptoms Edit
In the early stages of AIDS flu like symptoms will occur like: Fever, chills, rash, swollen lymph nodes and sore throat
In the later stages of AIDS more intense symptoms may occur like: Rapid weight loss, extreme tiredness,
diarrhea, pneumonia, and memory loss
People with AIDS only have about 200 CD4 cells which protect the immune system whereas the healthy person has around 1000 CD4 cells. This shows that the infected persons immune system is about 5 times weaker. Tests that can see if a person has AIDS are: ELISA Test, Home Test, Saliva Test, Viral Load Test, and the Western Blot Test.
Since there is no cure for AIDS there are numerous drugs that can help prolong the life of the person infected. There are 5 main types of anti-AIDS drugs. They are: Non-nucleolus reverse transcription inhibitors which disable a protein needed by the disease. Nucleoside or nucleotide reverse transcription inhibitors which are fake versions of building blocks which is needed by the disease to make copies. Pro tease inhibitors which disable pro tease (Type of protein) Entry Inhibitors which blocks entry into cells. Finally Integrase Inhibitors which disables another protein called intergrase. It is essential that a person diagnosed with the HIV virus undergoes treatment in able to prolong their life as much as possible.
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