Teila Allmond and Jasmine Hollerway

HIV

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Where'd It Come From?

HIV was first noticed around 1981 when homosexual men were reported to have had symptoms of a type of pneumonia and also skin tumors on their bodies. Later doctors noticed that they had a lower amount of white blood cells than what was considered to be normal. This was later recognized in countries such as the United States and also African as a human immunodeficiency disorder which we now know as HIV.

The Virus

HIV particles can’t be seen by regular microscopes but only through electron microscopes. So when they’re seen, a visible outside layer of fatty material with a bullet-shaped viral core. Within the core there are three enzymes that are vital for HIV replication and all of the genetic material that is used for the reproduction of the virus such as RNA.

Because of the fact that the virus is located in the blood stream, it's passed from human to human through sexual contact and also through the passing of blood from one person to another. When it's passed through the blood, this can mean that it's passed through the sharing of needles and also if one person has a cut and the blood gets into the other person's blood stream and infects it.

Symptoms

Early Symptoms of HIV can include symptoms that feel the same as those for the flu. Symptoms also include problems such as rashes or symptoms that are similar to those of the common cold, but are more severe such as swollen lymph nodes and glands and also fevers. This is because of the fact that the virus attacks the immune system and makes the body less susceptible to fight off infection.

The virus is usually asymptomatic and you can usually only be diagnosed after being tested. Even when there are no signs of symptoms and the person is actually infected with the virus, it still remains highly contagious. The virus usually takes a slow hold of the body and it could take years for the symptoms to occur

How Does Our Body Fight?

The Human body attempts to fight off the virus using normal methods such as using the immune system to attack the virus. But as the body attacks the virus the virus overpowers the cells and kills them. This is why the only way to fight the virus is to take antiviral medications to try to weaken the virus.

When the virus is in the body and the body is then unable to fight, antiviral medications will be prescribed as a preventative. There is no cure for HIV, so the only way to make it better is to try to reduce the virus's effects on the body. Also a doctor would prescribe medications to help boost the immune system so the body can try to fight also.


Citations

http://www.epigee.org/health/hiv_symptoms.html
http://www.avert.org/virus.htm
http://kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/stds/std_hiv.html#
http://www.livescience.com/php/multimedia/imagedisplay/img_display.php?pic=060104_hiv_virus_02.jpg&cap=A+three-dimensional+model+of+the+HIV+virus.+Credit%3A+3DScience.com