Wednesday, December 1, 2010

FIGHTING WITH HIV(human immunodeficiency virus)-AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome)


Every year on December 1 we celebrate the world AIDS day worldwide. The aim to celebrate world AIDS day is to spread the awareness among the people who are still in the dark about the facts and harmful effects of AIDS. AIDS is the Acquired immune deficiency syndrome. AIDS is caused by the HIV virus which the human immunodeficiency virus.

HIV Virus

The HIV virus, like other viruses live as a neutral spherical body or particle which has lots of spikes on its surface. HIV particles are covered by a coat of fatty matter called as viral membrane or viral envelope. Below this membrane, the next layer is called as matrix made up of protein. The viral core is bullet-shaped and inside the core, three enzymes are present along with two strands of RNA which are responsible for the replication of HIV virus.

The HIV virus can be active only inside a living cell. Once it gets the entry inside the human cell it starts to make copies of itself. This process starts when the HIV particle hits a cell which carries a special type of protein on its surface called as CD4. The spikes attached to the CD4 and viral membrane gets fused with the cell membrane. The enzyme reverse transcriptase converts the viral RNA into DNA which then transferred to the cell nucleus. The HIV virus may remain dormant for a longer time but as the cell becomes active it treats the viral DNA as a human DNA and converts it into messenger RNA and transported it outside the cell. This viral messenger RNA is used to produce more HIV enzyme and protein. These together produce more viral particle. These newly formed particle attacks the other cells and replication begins.

AIDS can be transmitted in following way:

Sexual transmission:
It is the most common way of transmission of AIDS. The HIV virus enters into the body through lining of the vagina, vulva, penis, rectum or mouth during sexual activity.

Transmission in pregnant women : 
Women can transmit the HIV virus to their babies during pregnancy or childbirth. HIV virus can also transmit to the babies through the breast milk of the infected mother. Now medicine is available for the HIV infected pregnant women so that chances of transmission of HIV from a mother to child can be reduce.

Transmission through contaminated blood : 
It used to happen before when the transfusion of blood was taking place before any screening of the blood. Now the transmission of HIV through such transfusions is very rare.

Use of same syringe for many individuals :
It happens if the same syringe or needles are use which are contaminated with the minute quantity of the blood of the HIV infected person.

As the HIV virus attacks the immune system, it results in symptoms like herpes, tuberculosis. People suffering from AIDS are at high risk of developing cancer, infection of every organ system. AIDS also causes respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, neurological and psychiatric problems and tumors.
It is a fact that AIDS is not curable but you can prevent it. You can prevent the spreading of AIDS by taking following precautions

Use of condom when getting into a sexual act.
Demand of new syringe each time.
Consulting with your physician before getting pregnant.

At the rate AIDS is spreading in the world it has become necessary to take the precautionary measures as still there is no medicine available which can cure it.

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