As commonly known, HIV cannot penetrate your immune systems first line of defense. You cannot contract HIV by breathing bad air or by holding the hand of somebody who is HIV positive. You have to work hard to become infected by doing things such as sharing contaminated needles, or by having unprotected sex with an infected person. Unfortunately, infected mothers can also transmit the virus to their unborn children or by means of breast milk. Basically, once HIV is in your system it is already to your third and final line of defense. HIV doesn’t target just any cell, it goes right for the cells that want to kill it, i.e. the monocytes, macrophages, and Helper T-Cells. Once HIV infects these cells, T-Cells come along and destroy those infected cells, thus one’s own body is killing off the mechanisms needed to destroy the virus. The virus can infect 10 billion cells a day, yet only 1.8 billion can be replaced daily. Thus, after many years of a constant battle, the body has insufficient numbers of T-Cell to mount an immune response against infections. At the point when the body is unable to fight off infections, a person is said to have the disease AIDS. This means that it is not the virus or the disease that ultimately kills a person; it is the inability to fight of something as minor as the common cold. How does HIV get into cells and infect them? Helper T-Cells bind to antigen presenting cells (APC’s) by means of a receptor on the cell surface called CD4. HIV is able to use it’s own gp120 (a protein on the surface of HIV) to bind to a cells CD4. HIV also binds to receptors CCR5 and CXCR4 of the cell surface. HIV’s membrane fuses to the cell membrane and gains entry into the cell. HIV is one of the few retroviruses, meaning that it can convert its two strands of RNA into DNA by use of the enzyme reverse transcriptase. Because it has two copies of its RNA, it has two chances to in case one of the strands does not work properly or is damaged. The virus then permanently integrates the newly formed DNA into the host’s genome. This means the cells is able to release more HIV into your body, and the process continues.
Behaviors to Reduce the Risk of HIV Infection
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the pathogen that destroys the body’s immune system allowing the development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (Aids). Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (Aids) is a disorder of the human immune system in a person infected with HIV, characterized by severe breakdown of the immune system that leaves a person very susceptible to opportunistic infections. An opportunistic infection is an infection that would probably not have the opportunity to invade the body if a person’s immune system were healthy.
A virus is one of the smallest pathogens that can cause disease. Like other viruses, HIV cannot replicate by itself. However, when HIV enters a person’s body, it attaches to a part of the helper T cell, takes control of the helper T cell, and reproduces it’s genetic material in the helper T cell. The virus multiplies inside the helper T cell, causing an interruption in the signals for help in the form of antibodies. The result of this is an unchecked spread of HIV and the eroding of the ability of the immune system to defend itself against other pathogens.
Most people have no symptoms when they are first infected. You must have a test to be sure you have HIV. It could take as little as a few weeks to many years for any symptoms to appear. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, weight loss, tiredness, and enlarged lymph nodes.
Transmission of HIV
There are five ways of transmission of HIV.
Sexual Transmission: People who have open lesions and engage in sexual behavior are especially vulnerable to infection with HIV. The more sexual partners you have, the greater your risk.
It can travel through a person’s
· blood, semen, vagina, secretions ,HIV can enter through…