All About Hiv And Aids Essay

2120 words - 8 pages

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome); HIV is the etiological agent of AIDS leaving the body vulnerable to a variety of life threatening diseases (8).

Transmission:

AIDS is transmitted from the HIV virus through blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk to others from infected host (1). The virus can be spread through sexual contact by oral, vaginal, or anal sex; receiving a blood transfusion, injection involving needles, artificial insemination and organ transplants from an infected donor. Transmission from mother to child during pregnancy (intrauterine) from shared blood circulation while in fetus, delivery, or after pregnancy when nursing infant from breast milk of infected mother (9). The exact mechanism of mother to child HIV/AIDS transmission is still unknown (9).

Reservoirs:

Infected human. Latent reservoirs include CD4 and T-Cells. Reservoirs are still not fully understood (1).

General Characteristics:

The stages leading to diagnosis of AIDS include Acute HIV infection detected within a few weeks to months, asymptomatic HIV infection having no symptoms, early symptomatic HIV infection, to advanced HIV infection known as AIDS (13). A CD4 count test resulting in less than 200 cells/mm3 is used for diagnosis of AIDS even when the patient shows no symptoms (8). Specific illnesses found only in patients that have AIDS are used to determine further testing for a positive diagnosis. Tests for HIV can be used to identify AIDS. HIV is diagnosed by blood tests involving two or more positive ELISA tests that have been confirmed by a Western blot assay (6). Test include third-generation, fourth-generation, rapid tests, HIV RNA tests, confirmatory tests, STARHS and home sampling tests (6). Once confirmed positive for HIV/AIDS doctors can perform further testing to find what stage of the disease the patient is in. Tests used include CD4 count test to determine amount of CD4 cells/mm3 in host, a viral load test to measure the amount of virus in patient’s blood, and drug resistance test to determine HIV strain (3).

History:

The first published article related to AIDS was in 1981 by Michael Gottlieb concerning a random increase in pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) (7). Soon after another article reporting sudden outbreaks of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) appeared (7). Noticed and named by the CDC, the term Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is used in 1982 to describe the new disease related to sudden outbreaks (7). The causation of AIDS in 1982 was not known until the discovery of HIV on April 23, 1984 by Pasteur and Dr. Robert Gallo (7). In 1985 scientist realized HIV/AIDS can be spread through blood and bodily fluids (8). In 1985 testing first became available focusing on protecting the blood supply involving blood transfusions (8). In 1987 the USPHS issued guidelines making HIV testing a priority regarding prevention of individuals that have high risk behaviors (8). In 1993 the CDC recommended voluntary HIV...

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