HIV: Its Symptoms and Mechanisms
Jessica woke up in the morning, feeling extremely exhausted and tired (“Early Signs and Symptoms”). She found out that she woke up later than she expected and rushed out of the house to work. That wasn’t the only morning that she had felt that way-- she had felt muscle fatigue and headaches for weeks now (“Signs and Symptoms”). Before, Jessica had gotten a cold, but it was probably the “worst flu” that she had ever experienced (“Signs and Symptoms”). She had a severe fever and always coughed from a sore throat (“Signs and Symptoms”). She finally decided to pay her doctor a visit.
When Jessica arrived to the hospital, she explained to her doctor about her problem. Her doctor took several examinations, including an HIV exam. When the doctor got the results, Jessica was tested HIV positive! When her doctor told her the results, Jessica was stunned. She knew that HIV was bad, but she vaguely ...view middle of the document...
In the envelope, it contains proteins called Env (“HIV/ AIDS”). The Env proteins stick out or spike from the virion (“HIV/ AIDS”). The Env proteins or the spikes of HIV are made up of glycoproteins that are used to support the structure of the viral envelope (“HIV/ AIDS”).
The HIV virus life cycle starts during the adsorption phase when HIV binds to lipoprotein receptors that are on the cell membrane of a host cell, more specifically helper T-cells (“HIV Life Cycle”). This causes a conformational change and the stem-like structure of the viral spikes pulls the HIV virus closer to the T-cell (“HIV Life Cycle”). During penetration and uncoating, the HIV virus fuses into the T-cell and releases an essential enzyme, reverse transcriptase (“HIV Life Cycle”). This enzyme transcribes the viral RNA into DNA; this switch is important so that the viral DNA can integrate into the T-cell’s DNA (“HIV Life Cycle”). HIV also has another enzyme called integrase that transports the HIV DNA to the host cell’s nucleus; then it helps the viral DNA to incorporate into the T-cell’s DNA (“HIV Life Cycle”). It does this by cutting off dinucleotides from the 3 prime ends of the viral DNA, creating two “sticky ends” that join the host’s DNA (“HIV Life Cycle”). For synthesis, the HIV DNA is “integrated into the host cell’s DNA-- now it can use the host cell’s proteins to make its long viral proteins chains” (“HIV Life Cycle”). Protease, a viral enzyme, then takes these long proteins and cuts them into smaller parts (“HIV Life Cycle”). These smaller chains will then combine with the two viral RNA and the viral enzymes to form a new virus (“HIV Life Cycle”). The new virus is formed and is then released from the host cell and fuses out of the cell membrane (“HIV Life Cycle”). After forming its viral envelope from the cell membrane and forming its own proteins, the virion is ready to target another host cell (“HIV Life Cycle”).
The doctor explained to Jessica that in order to prevent her infection from getting worse, she would need to take a medication called Post-exposure prophylaxis to reduce the risk of HIV infections from getting worse (“Post Exposure Prophylaxis”).