Aids/Hiv Essay 10

Topics: AIDS, Immune system, HIV Pages: 2 (643 words) Published: October 8, 1999

The HIV virus poses one of the biggest viral threats to human society today. It is contracted through bodily fluids such as blood and semen, and sometimes even saliva and tears. AIDS kills 100% of its victims and puts them through agony before they die. It has been a threat for about 15 years, and it is not going to stop now. In fact, AIDS is just getting started: It consumes more people each year. There is no known treatment for it either, only antibiotics to slow the reproduction of the virus. HIV is passed from one person to another by bodily fluids only. It is usually gotten through sexual intercourse or other intimate contact, through the exchanging of unsterilized intravenous needles, or by the contact of HIV-infected bodily fluids and an open wound. It cannot permeate though intact skin, hence it cannot be spread through informal contact. AIDS has not been found to travel in insects or tame animals. In pregnant women, the virus only infects the infant near or at the time of birth. The virus dies quickly without a host.

AIDS (Acquired ImmunoDifficiency Syndrome) weakens the body¹s immune system so it is sensitive to infection. The AIDS virus primarily attacks the T lymphocytes, which are a main part of the immune system. The virus is also incubated in cells called macrophages, where it is accidentally sent to other, healthy cells in the body like neurons and lymphatic cells. After HIV is contracted, the person looks and feels healthy for up to 20 years before symptoms start occurring. During this time, the person can give the virus to another even though it cannot be detected by sight or smell. Usually, symptoms start developing within 1 to 2 years. Typical indications of the virus are fever, weariness, weight loss, skin rashes, a fungal mouth infection called thrush, lack of immunity to infection, and enlarged lymph nodes. When AIDS overtakes the body, the body becomes especially susceptible to tuberculosis, pneumonia, and a...
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