Sunday, July 25, 2010

HIV and Aids

Aids is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which was first recognized in Los Angeles, USA in 1981. The causal agent was identified in 1983 and designated the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV. Recently, in Britain at least, it has dropped out of the limelight to a certain extent because of the advent of the BSE/CID crisis. This may be party due to the fact that although the numbers of people affected have been distressingly high, the early doomsday predictions of deaths on an apocalyptic scale have not been fulfilled.

However, there is no room for complacency - the virus is the cause of enormous human suffering and premature death on a huge scale throughout the world. It affects people of both sexes, all ages and in every walk of life, and there were over 100,000 deaths from HIV infections and Aids in 1990 alone. At the present time, there is no cure and the expected outcome for those who develop Aids is premature death.


HIV is a ribonucleic acid (RNA) retrovirus that is able to introduce its genetic material into the DNA of body cells. The virus is found in blood fluids such as semen and vaginal secretions. It is transmitted mainly by sexual intercourse containing HIV re transferred to the body of a non-infected person. HIV affects white blood cells, known as T-lymphocyte, which are vital to the effective operation of the immune system. Natural immunity declines, leaving the person increasingly vulnerable to the development of certain opportunistic infections and tumors. Hence the parts of the body initially involved in HIV and Aids are the immune system, including T-lymphocytes, lymph nodes and glands, bone marrow, the spleen and also the liver.