A medical condition in which the immune system is destroyed by a virus called as Human Immune Deficiency Virus is known as HIV infection. The loss of immune function deteriorates the ability of the body to fight against various types of pathogenic infections (caused by harmful micro-organisms) (Quinn). The virus attacks the immune cells of the body which are basically the white blood cells (CD4 T cells) due to which the white blood count of the body infected with the virus is reduced to a great extent. Increased reduction of CD4 cells leads to progression of HIV infection to AIDS (Cunningham et al.).
The diagnosis history of HIV dates back to 1981 when a few homosexual individuals in Los Angeles and New York were caught. These individuals represented clinical phenotype of pneumonia (lung infection) and skin cancers. Furthermore, there was a marked reduction of the CD4 cells (white blood cells) in their blood. It was discovered that HIV is a mutated (changed) form of an African monkey virus. Due to the presence of related viruses in the African monkeys and huge resemblance with HIV, it has been suggested that Central Africa would be the site of HIV evolution (Daar).
Presently, HIV infection is a disease that is highly demographically diverse and all ages, sexes and ethnic...
About 50, 000 new HIV infections are added annually. However, one-fifth of individuals with such infection are not aware that they are infected and still higher population of individuals who is aware of the disease does not consider HIV management (Moore). In 2010, approximately 2.7 people around the world were newly infected with HIV. Since 2001, annual reduction in HIV incidence was seen in almost 33 countries, 22 of which were in the sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, the incidence rate is increasing in Eastern Europe and Central Asia after being decreased in 2000s. Also, new infections are again on increase in the Middle East and North Africa (WHO).
The HIV infection is a progressive disorder during which the virus persists in the body in all the stages of disease development. The HIV infection is divided into three stages.
1. The first stage, known as primary infection develops in weeks during which the virus gains entry into the body. Symptoms include flu which gets cured in a few weeks.
2. The second stage is the chronic asymptomatic infection in which apparently there are no symptoms but the infection is long lasting and prolongs for an average eight to ten years.
3. The third and last stage is the symptomatic infection during which the immune system which defends the body against infections is suppressed due to which complications are developed. This stage is called the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Symptoms include cancers, severe weight loss, dementia (memory loss) and unusual type of infections.
The HIV infection progresses towards AIDS when the CD4 cell count reduces to less than 200 cells/mm3 of blood.
HIV transmission occurs when…
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