HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus Essay

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HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus that damages the human immune system and leaves HIV-positive people susceptible to many opportunistic infections and cancers. HIV leads to AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV/AIDS has no cure or preventative vaccine but there are many affective treatments that allow HIV-positive people to lead long lives and preventative measures to protect others from HIV transmission.
HIV is believed to be originated in other primates in the Twentieth Century. Scientists have identified a type of West African chimpanzee as the original source of the virus. Researchers believe that the chimpanzee version of the virus called SIV was transmitted to humans and mutated into HIV. Hunters
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Some HIV-positive people show no symptoms at all during acute infection. The ability to spread HIV is highest during this period because the amount of virus in the blood is very high.
The second stage of HIV is clinical latency. This stage is sometimes called chronic HIV infection. Many people do not have any symptoms during the clinical latency stage. People who are on antiretroviral therapy or ART may live with clinical latency for several decades. For people who are not on ART, this period can last up to a decade, however, some may progress through this phase faster. People are still able to transmit HIV to others during this phase even when treated with ART, although ART greatly reduces the risk. Toward the middle and end of the clinical latency period, a person’s viral load, which is how much virus is in the blood, begins to rise and their CD4 cell count begins to drop. People begin to experience symptoms of HIV infection as their immune systems become to weak to protect them. Symptoms include weight loss, fatigue, fever, confusion, memory loss, skin rashes, and shortness of breath. After this stage ends, HIV progresses to AIDS.
HIV progresses to the last stage, AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), when HIV destroys so many CD4 cells. When the CD4 cell count drops below 200 is generally when people are said to have AIDS. People can live with HIV

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