HIV and AIDS

Topics: AIDS, HIV, Antiretroviral drug, Immune system / Pages: 4 (1198 words) / Published: Aug 27th, 2014
What is HIV/AIDS?
HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus
It is one of a group of viruses known as retroviruses. After getting into the body, the virus kills or damages cells of the body's immune system. The body tries to keep up by making new cells or trying to contain the virus, but eventually the HIV wins out and progressively destroys the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers. This eventually leads to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) when the virus has destroyed so much of the body's defences that immune-cell counts fall to critical levels or certain life-threatening infections or cancers develop.

Why HIV/AIDS is considered one of the most lethal diseases?

HIV infection has now spread to every country in the world. Since the beginning of the epidemic, almost 70 million people have been infected with the HIV virus and about 35 million people have died of AIDS. Statistics show that approximately 40 million people are currently living with HIV infection, and an estimated 25 million have died from this disease. Every day nearly 7,000 people contract HIV—nearly 300 every hour. Hence, HIV/AIDS is now a pandemic.

Pros of Science in treating HIV/AIDS

1. The distinctive characteristic of HIV is that it mutates constantly, which resulted to the mutations in genetic material of HIV viruses. Hence, although all HIV viruses are similar, such small variations or mutations in the genetic material of the virus create drug-resistant HIV viruses (adapt to repeated environment changes and resist the antiretroviral treatments), which are tolerant to antiretroviral treatments. Science therefore provides scientists with the tool to come up with new treatments/vaccines (potent and effective, taken for shorter periods + decrease side effects) to tackle the drug-resistant HIV strains, combating HIV/AIDS and ensuring the safety and health of the nation.

2. As stated earlier, HIV/AIDS is now a pandemic, and therefore the more we need to find

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