Hiv Research Project

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Daniel Anikwue Anatomy & Physiology Julian Hunt 11/5/12

Advances in HIV/ AIDS Medical Research

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system, the body's natural defense system. Without a strong immune system, the body has trouble fighting off disease. The first cases of HIV were first discovered in Los Angeles and New York in the 1980's. A group of gay men and injection drug users were revealed to have without no known cause of impaired immunity symptoms of pneumonia, a type of lung infection. Soon thereafter, additional gay men developed a previously rare skin cancer called Kaposi's sarcoma. The patients were noted to have a severe reduction in CD4 cells, a type of cell in the blood that is an important part of the immune system. These cells, often referred to as T cells, help the body fight infections. Shortly thereafter, this disease was recognized throughout the United States, Western Europe, and Africa. In 1983, researchers in the United States and France described the virus that causes AIDS, now known as HIV, belonging to the group of viruses called retroviruses.

HIV can be contracted from contact with infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids. Most people get the virus by having unprotected sex with someone who has HIV. Another common way of getting the virus is by sharing drug needles with someone who is infected with HIV.The virus can also be passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, birth, or breast-feeding. Symptoms may appear from a few days to several weeks after a person is first infected. The early symptoms usually go away within 2 to 3 weeks. .The most common symptoms of primary HIV infection are fever, aching muscles and joints, sore throat, and swollen glands (lymph nodes) in the neck. However some people...
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