Description of HIV
The outermost part of HIV is a spherical viral lipid envelope taken from a human cell when a newly formed virus buds from a host cell. The most important of the membrane proteins are three docking glycoprotein 120 (gp120) all attached to the virus membrane via the transmembrane glycoprotein 41 (gp41); there are roughly 72 membrane gp120-gp41 ligands in the membrane. Within the viral envelope is a matrix formed from HIV protein 17. Within the matrix is a bullet-shaped capsid made of the viral protein 24. Inside the capsid is two HIV RNA strands where each strand has nine genes.Three genes, gag, pol, and env, are structural proteins to build a new virus. The other six are regulatory genes, tat, rev, nef, vif, vpr, and vpu, are for HIV’s ability to cause disease. Each end of the RNA strands contain a Long Terminal Repeat (LTR) segment. The core of the enzyme also includes three viral enzymes vital for virus replication: reverse transcriptase, integrase, and protease.
HIV is derived from the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) in African Chimpanzees. It is believed that SIV jumped to humans, called a zoonotic infection, to become HIV after african hunters ate meat from Chimpanzees. HIV cannot survive outside of a host body, therefore the virus requires direct contact from person to person to be transmitted. Direct contact can occur in several ways but horizontal transmission by sex is the most common. Unprotected sex involving anal, vaginal, or oral penetration can allows HIV to enter a new host’s body through the lining of the anus or vagina, opening to the penis, and through a mouth with cuts or sores. Unprotected Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for HIV transmission. An infected individual can also spread the disease by sharing needles or by having an organ or blood transfusion. The virus can be vertically transferred from mother to baby before or after birth and during breast feeding. The virus is present in certain fluids: breast milk, vaginals fluids, blood, pre-semenial fluid, seman, and rectal fluids.
The virus is not present in saliva, tears, or sweat and consequently cannot be transmitted by shaking hands or kissing. HIV cannot cross healthy unbroken skin. The virus requires a human body to survive and replicate, therefore it cannot spread by vehicle or vector transmission such as water, air, insect bites, or inanimate objects like toilet seats.
Major HIV cellular reservoirs include resting memory CD4+ T cells, hematopoietic progenitor cells, and astrocytes (5). Major HIV anatomical reservoirs for HIV infected cells include the gastrointestinal tract, central nervous system, lymphoid tissue, and genitourinary tract (5).
HIV is a simple virus. It’s viral envelope, taken from a host cell, contains three glycoprotein 120 molecules attached to transmembrane glycoprotein 41. The presence of glycoprotein 120 and 41 enables the virus to attach and enter CD4+ T cells. Reverse transcriptase,...