Human Immunodeficiency virus or better known as HIV has been around for many years. The origin of this disease was traced back all the way to West Africa. Scientist believed that a Chimpanzee carried a version of “HIV” and when humans hunted and came in contact with the infected animal and its blood it mutated to a human version of it and is now known as HIV (the aids institute, 2013). The first case of HIV was reported to be around the late 1950’s in the country of Congo. Over the years we have learn many new information and well as studying possible ways the human race came in contact with this particular virus. It wasn’t until the late 1970’s that it was known that untreated HIV would eventually lead a person to have “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome” or better known as AIDS.
Invasion of the Host
Transmission of this virus is through direct blood contact or certain bodily fluids. For example: blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluid, vaginal fluid and/or breast mild. The virus comes in contact with the host mucous membrane or any other damaged tissue and it inserts itself right into the blood stream. Once inside the host’s bloodstream it will more specifically attack CD4 cells which are also known as T Cells. T Cells are mainly known for fighting infections. If left untreated the virus will continue attacking the cells and making the host immune system weaker which makes it more susceptible to other infections as well as cancer related (Center for disease control and prevention, 2019).
“The HIV Virus is a gram-negative bacillary bacteremia in Human immunodeficiency virus type 1” (CDC, 2019). When cultured, the HIV Virus contains large number of 130-200 nm particles containing a 130-nm-long by 30-70 nm-wide core and it is pear shaped. (the aids institute, 2013). There are three stages to this virus, Stage one usually between 2 to 4 weeks after the initial infection. Symptoms: flu-like symptoms which may last a couple of weeks. Stage two is the period that I usually called asymptomatic HIV infection. This is the time where the host has no symptoms at all but still can infect a person. Some bodies may stay at this stage for years. Lastly, Stage three is known as AIDS and it is the most severe phase of all three. The bodies at this stage has very compromised immune systems that they have increasing number of other illness due to illnesses called “opportunistic illnesses”. Any host without treatment at this point will survive abut 2-3 years. Symptoms for this stage are chills, fever, sweats, swollen lymph glands, weakness, and weight loss (CDC, 2019). No cure is yet to be available but there is medication used to treat a patient at any stage of the virus. Antiretroviral therapy or ART is taken depending on how much of a “viral load” they have in their blood. This medication inhibits HIV from continuing to reproduce inside the host and allows for the body’s defense system to recover. Although the medication does not kill the virus off completely it allows it to be strong enough to fight common infections as well as cancer related ones.
Human Immunodeficiency virus is a virus that has been around many years. Even though the origin of this disease is known there are still many questions that remain wide open. How did this virus exactly transfer to the human race? Why has it been so difficult to find a cure? HIV is a virus that feeds off the immune system and it is known for debilitating its host so much that It is left weak and ready to be invaded by other infections as well. No cure has yet to be found but with the help of ART medication most infected parties are able to live long lives.