Short Essay on AIDS and HIV

Topics: AIDS, HIV, Immune system Pages: 2 (555 words) Published: November 20, 2008
What is HIV? What is AIDS? Two big questions which have been answered only recently. What we still don't understand is what HIV and AIDS bring to. Is it just death and physical sufferings? No. There is much more. Alongside these first problems there are other secondary problems which are not usually thought of. I will talk about the sociological, economic and ethical issues surrounding the availability of treatment in different countries, but first I must explain what HIV and AIDS are.

Basically, HIV is the virus and AIDS is what you get from it. In fact, HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus whilst AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome which means you already have acquired the virus's syndrome. If you carry the HIV virus (HIV positive) you can't really see it and feel no difference in you but whether you have HIV or AIDS, the virus can be transmitted anyway through unprotected sex and shared needles. HIV is a blood virus so this means you cannot pass it through saliva, physical contact or breathing. Once you get it; it simply waits inside your white blood cells (cells of the immune system) for an impulse to break up. Once these immune cells get activated with a simple disease such diarrhoea, they multiply; and as they do this they release viro-particles into the blood stream. These viro-particles will then infect other white blood cells. This process continues from cell to cell until your immune cells can no longer give an immune response to your illnesses or disease. At this point you have AIDS so with no immune response in your body, you start to have symptoms such as fevers, chills and sweats.

But then is there a cure to this atrocious disease? Yes, it is called HAART: Highly Active Anti Retroviral Therapy. It consists in giving the ill subject a cocktail of three different antiretroviral drugs. These drugs cannot stop the virus multiplying from cell to cell but it can really slow it down. There are very serious problems which have...

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