Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

By: Amirah Burkett (solo)


The Scientific and Common Name

The Scientific Name of HIV is Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
Previous Names Of HIV
-T-lymphotropic virus-III (HTLV-III)
-lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV)
-AIDS-associated retrovirus (ARV).

History/ Background Information

HIV was discovered by Luc Montahnier and his associates at the
Institute In Paris in 1983. HIV-2 was first identified among patients
in Cameroon in 1985. It is generally located in Africa. Africans have the most
case of HIV/AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. They both are transmitted the same way and both may result to full blown AIDS. HIV-2 is harder to transmit and the existing infection and illness is longer in the case of HIV-2. The most common is HIV-1 which is distributed worldwide
while HIV-2 is primarily confined to West Africa


  • rapid weight loss
  • dry cough
  • recurring fever
  • profound and unexplained fatigue
  • swollen lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck
  • diarrhea that lasts for more than a week
  • white spots, blemishes on the tongue, in mouth, or in throat.
  • pneumonia
  • red, brown, pink, or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids.
  • memory loss, depression, and other neurological disorders

HIV laying dormant means that that the person perhaps is a carrier of the virus,
but the virus has not matured. And it will not, but the risk is
passing it to someone else it may be a problem for them.

Dormant means that the active disease AIDS or when ones
immune system is faltering has not happened. HIV is the virus thatcauses AIDS. HIV is dormant when it has not caused AIDS yet.
HIV/AIDS can remain dormant for 15 years.

Virus Transmission Introduction

HIV can be transmitted through:
  • Blood- Blood contains the highest concentration of the virus

  • Semen- Semen contains the second highest concentration of the virus.

  • Vaginal secretions- Vaginal secretions contain the Third highest concentration of the virus.

  • Breast milk- Breast Milk is the least concentration of the Virus.

"Body Fluids" that HIV cannot be transmitted through:

  • Saliva
  • Tears
  • Sweat
  • Feces
  • Urine

Virus Transmission/Prevention

Activities of HIV Transmission:

  • Unprotected sexual contact
  • Direct blood contact
  • Mother to baby


Sexual intercourse : HIV can infect the mucous membranes directly or when entered through cuts and sores during sexual intercourse. Unprotected Vaginal or Anal intercourse may result in receiving the virus. This is considered a high risk practice.

Oral sex : The risk of HIV transmission through the throat, gums or any other oral membranes has a lower risk then receiving it from the vaginal or anal area. Oral sex is considered a low risk practice though there were documented cases of receiving the disease from giving oral sex.

Sharing injection needles: Injecting a needle and sharing it with another person can result to transmitting of the virus. Sharing needles is a the highest risk practice because it's blood to blood contact.

Mother to Child: A woman who has HIV can pass the virus directly to her child before, or during birth, or through breast milk. Breast milk contains HIV, small amounts of breast milk doesn't effect adults, it can be transmitted to infants.

Does HIV effect other organisms as well?

Animals ultimately subdued it and the virus does not make the animal sick.HIV can survive in primates and is said to survive for a short time in other organisms.
If one person is engaged sexually with an animal, there is a risk that HIV may survive long
enough in the fluids from an infected person to infect the second person
and so on and so forth.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus contains RNA.
The protien shell contains two copies of the Virus's RNA genome and three kinds or protein, which are used to to initiate itself when inside the cell it is infecting.Gp41 and gp120 allows the viron to recognize the type of cell to take over. protrude, meaning stick out, from the HIV membrane coat.


About The Infection

HIV attacks white blood cells of the human Immune system. The virus destroys the ability of the infected cells to function correctly in the immune system. The body loses the ability to fight many other viruses. The immune systems are weakened because of the virus, making it harder for people with HIV to fight off many infections.


The Life Of HIV


Viral Attachment- When the HIV Comes into contact with a T-cell, it has to attach itself so it can combine with the cell and inject genetic material (future blueprint-like plans to create more HIV).

Viral Penetration/Fusion
- After the viral attachment, the viral penetration takes place. The penetration, then allows the nucleocapsid of the virus to inject itself into the cytoplasm of the cell.

Uncoating- It is ready to install it's genetic information, better known as RNA into the cell. RNA is protected in the nucleocapsid. The nucleocapsid them partially dissolve so the RNA can be converted into DNA.

Reverse Transcription- When RNA is converted into DNA is called reverse transcription.

Integration- When the HIV virion succeeds in translating it's genetic instruction from RNA to DNA, the HIV then inserts it's DNA into the cells DNA.

Cleavage and Viral Assembly- Then the virions are produced and processed, they then separate together into new viruses. The separation is mastered by the viral protease enzyme.

Budding- The last step, the genetic information surround in the nucleocapsid joins with the distorted cell membrane to form a new viral envelope. When the genetic material is finally stored, a newly formed HIV is released and enters the circulation, starting the process over again.

Fighting HIV

The human body can fight the HIV. If HIV does enter the body, it is possible that the T cell can eliminate the virus. The only tricky part about ti is this virus goes by itself by using different proteins invading cells used in immunity. Once it's invaded one cell, it repeats. Once in control there is no cure so in order for the body to eliminate one of these viruses it would have to be caught and eliminated before infecting.


HIV/AIDS Cases by Transmission


HIV/AIDS Cases by Race/Ethnicity


HIV/AIDS Cases by Age


22 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa were living with HIV in 2007 with an addition of 1.9 million people infected that year.

Changes In HIV

It seems that HIV is not becoming extremely severe over time and the virus is inheritable so we cannot determine if it's a real tendency. HIV just became apart of the human population just recently. Maybe it's still adapting to new host and is trying to figure a way to effect us more efficiently.

Treatment For HIV

There is no cure for HIV yet. Medical professionals are working on a cure for it, but there are some treatments.
Drug therapy for patients who are devoted to taking all off their medication and have A CD4 count lower than 350 mL, which shows their immune system is subdued. Pregnant women and people who have kidney or neurological problem related to HIV, probably need treatment regardless of their CD4 Count. It's important to take all of their medication or the virus will quickly become resistant to the drugs.
Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs)