A Research Paper About Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Topics: HIV, AIDS, Antiretroviral drug Pages: 20 (6616 words) Published: September 22, 2012
A Research about Human Immunodefiency Virus

I. HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a lentivirus responsible for gradually destroying the human immune system, and subjecting it to various invincible opportunistic infections. It is the most complex virus ever encountered by mankind. Many of its mysteries have been unleashed through persistent research and studies. While many, are yet to be revealed.

II. There are a lot of things to know about this virus.

A. History of HIV

The human immunodefiency virus (HIV) descended from the related simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), which infects apes and monkeys in Africa. Scientists had identified a type of chimpanzee in West-Central Africa as the source of the virus infection in humans. There was evidence that humans who participate in bush meat activities, either as hunters or as bush meat vendors, commonly acquire SIV. However, only a few of these infections were able to cause epidemics in humans, and all did so in the late 19th—early 20th century. To explain why HIV became epidemic only by that time, there were several theories, each invoking specific driving factors that may have promoted SIV adaptation to humans, or initial spread: social changes following colonialism, rapid transmission of SIV through unsafe or unsterile injections (that is, injections in which the needle is reused without being sterilized), colonial abuses and unsafe smallpox vaccinations or injections, or prostitution and the accompanying high frequency of genital ulcer diseases (such as syphilis) in developing colonial cities. HIV time line started early in 1981. On June 5, 1981, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recorded a cluster of Pneumocystis cariniipneumonia (classified as PCP) in five homosexual men in Los Angeles and New York. These men had symptoms of a disease that now are considered typical of AIDS. In The patients were noted to have a severe reduction in a type of cell in the blood (CD4 cells) 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 the beginning, the CDC did not have an official name for the disease. They used Kaposi's sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections, the name by which a task force had been set up in 1981. In the general press, the term GRID, which stood for gay-related immune deficiency, had been made up. The CDC, in search of a name, and looking at the infected communities made “the 4H disease” as it seemed to single out Haitians, homosexuals, hemophiliacs, and heroin users. However, after determining that AIDS was not isolated to the gay community, the term GRID became misleading and AIDS was introduced at a meeting in July 1982. By September 1982, the CDC started using the name AIDS, and properly defined the illness. In 1983, two separate research groups led by Robert Gallo, an American scientist, and Luc Montagnier, a French researcher/scientist in Pasteur Institute, independently declared that a novel retrovirus may have been infecting AIDS patients, and published their findings in the same issue of the journal Science. Gallo claimed that a virus his group had isolated from an AIDS patient was strikingly similar in shape to other human T-lymphotropic viruses (HTLVs) his group had been the first to isolate. Gallo's group called their newly isolated virus HTLV-III. At the same time, Montagnier's group isolated a virus from a patient presenting lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph nodes) of the neck and physical weakness, two classic symptoms of HIV/AIDS. Contradicting the report from Gallo's group, Montagnier and his colleagues showed that core proteins of this virus were immunologically different from those of HTLV-I. Montagnier's group named their isolated virus lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV). HIV was chosen as a compromise between the two claims...
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