Research Paper Example on Causative Agent of AIDS

Published: 2021-08-11
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Wesleyan University
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Research paper
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Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is a viral disease caused by the virus known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus which gets mostly abbreviated as HIV. It is a human disorder that results from the continuous failure of ones immune system to resist the thriving of opportunistic diseases.HIV become considered as a lent virus which is a subcategory of a retrovirus.HIV is larger as compared to some eukaryotes and bacteria. Its structure gets considered as enveloped because it gets covered by an external envelope hence HIV is not a naked virus. ( Hall, J. C. 2011). Some of the unique features of the virus multiplication cycle are as follows: -binding -reverse transcription -integration -transcription -translation -assembly and maturity of the virus

History of AIDS

Over generations, people have posted different attitudes and their knowledge towards the disease, and thus there have been many changes regarding how humans take and perceive HIV/AIDS as a viral disease. Some of these changes and attitudes regarding HIV/AIDS are listed below:1. Provision of effective sex education among young adolescents in schools have greatly aided in students knowledge on sexual transmitted diseases and AIDS at large. Most of them have changed their behaviors as they are aware of the consequences involved if they act recklessly.Through this sex education, many people are enlightened on safety measures that should get observed during any sexual activity for example use of condoms. Young people are now able to take control of their lives at younger stages as they have become well educated on how to conduct themselves decently. )VERONIKA, G. L. A. N. Z. 2013). Stigmatization against those students living with HIV and AIDS has reduced as they get taught against discrimination.

2. Widespread usage of contraceptives over the years for example condoms has greatly influenced peoples attitudes and knowledge about HIV and AIDS. Increased condom awareness has reduced the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections as it is a protective measure during sexual activity. Condoms are a means of improvement and prevention of the viral disease.

3. Advocating for healthy sexuality, safe sexual practices and openness among young people and women over the generations as they have appeared to be the most resistant to change over time. Many women and youths are aware of their sexuality and are open to talk and discuss matters about their health as well as sexual topics

4. Eradication of some cultures that have helped in the increase of HIV and AIDS infection. There are cultural practices done in different communities that influenced and increased peoples chances of acquiring AIDS and other viral diseases. Some of these cultural practices include wife inheritance and Female Genital Mutilation [FGM]. With the advancement in technology, some of the cultures have been done away with as they get considered as wayward and barbaric. It also has changed peoples knowledge and their attitude on AIDS.

5. Increased awareness about the disease over the years. Due to technological advancements, people are educated globally about HIV and AIDS. Through the mass media, i.e., televisions, radio, internet and on websites humans from all walks of the world get familiarized with the disease, and they are thus able to take precautions that are necessary.6. A gradual decrease in discriminations and stigmatization among those living with HIV and AIDS virus. In the beginning when AIDS was new to many people, those who had it were publicly stigmatized by those who were negative as they believed mere body contact or sharing of personal stuff, e.g., utensils, soap and clothes could lead to is an infection. There were so many beliefs and myths that human beings believed could cause AIDS infection. However, these myths and beliefs have been done away with, and most of the people have the correct knowledge on AIDS and how it can get transmitted from one person to the other.

7. The people living with HIV and AIDS now can come out of their closet as compared to earlier where they could hide. Earlier on, HIV became considered as a punishment from God, and thus those who lived with it were highly stigmatized. The people living with AIDS now seek medical care and advice to be counseled on how best they can live even though with the disease. Many counseling institutions have been established all over the world to offer effective advice and help to people living with HIV and AIDS.8. Introduction of Antiretroviral drugs [ARVS] and Antiretroviral Therapy [ART] that has helped in the management and reduction of HIV and AIDS infection. They slow down the disease by preventing the growth of the virus when combined with the dosage. Most of the victims of HIV who are taking ARVS as instructed have no worries as they normally live like other negative people without the virus. The drugs help in strengthening their immune system by preventing it from being weakened by the deadly virus.


The people living with HIV and AIDS were approximated to be 36.7 million by 2015 worldwide. More millions of people have continued to become infected and died due it the epidemic over the years. Majority of the people living with HIV get located in middle and the low-income nations. The region that is most affected is the Sub-Saharan Africa with an approximation of 25.6 million victims. Even though ARV drugs are there to increase the lifespan of those living with AIDS, the death of these victims have also increased over the years due to issues like lower count of CD4, interruptions during the treatment of ARVS, drug use, smoking, infection by other AIDS-related infections and also diabetes. (Ramaiah, Savitri. 2008).

HIV and AIDS can be transmitted from one infected person to the other through the following modes; 1. Sharing of the sharp objects (injections and the razor blades) with an infected person.

2. Unprotected sexual intercourse both anal and vaginal with infected persons.

3. Mother to child during birth or breastfeeding through the breast milk.

4. Sexual contact involving body fluids for example blood, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids, semen and pre-cum with an infected person or people. Blood contains the largest concentration of AIDS virus, then secondly is semen, thirdly is vaginal fluids and then lastly breast milk.

5. Blood transfusions; when blood is not screened or properly screened during a transfusion to the other patient, AIDS can be transmitted to be patient.

Some of HIV and AIDS reservoirs include latent HIV reservoir which gets always established during the very earliest stages of HIV and AIDS infection, viral reservoirs and the cellular and molecular reservoirs of HIV.

PathologyImmune system- its sole function is to fight against infection .It consists of two cells; B cells and the T cells. The T cells are the ones that are attacked by the virus so that its production of antibodies is limited. The immune system fights with the virus, and later on, the body weakened as it can no longer produce the T cells leading to the body getting inflicted with many opportunistic diseases, i.e., meningitis, malignant cancers, tuberculosis, and toxoplasmosis.

Respiratory system-those living with AIDS gets suffering from respiratory diseases. The lungs are always severely attacked thus leading to infections, e.g., Carpi sarcoma, pulmonary hypertension, and lymphoma that could damage the respiratory organs.Nervous system-Encephalitis and meningitis syndromes affect the nervous system as soon as one gets infected with AIDS. The nervous system will then be forced to shut down or allow the entry and growth of foreign substances, i.e., bacteria and fungi thus destroying it or death if not treated with the retroviral treatment.

The time sequence of HIV and AIDS include;a] Incubation stage-first stage of AIDS. It is the time when someone is first infected with the virus and the period when antibodies against the HIV virus are produced.b] Asymptomatic stage-period when the immune system of a positive person begins responding to the infection and also starts producing antibodies to sustain the virus.c] Symptomatic period-d] Full blown period-

Major signs and symptoms of HIV and AIDS include;-pneumonia-severe diarrhea and vomiting -weight loss -sores around the genitals, mouth and anus.-Unexplained tiredness-swelling of lymph glands in areas around the neck, groin and in the armpits.- Loss of appetite, fever and fatigue.-Nausea -opportunistic diseases such as tuberculosis

Response and treatment of HIV and AIDS Antibodies fighting against the disease are released in the body to fight against the disease. With time, the virus outdoes these antibodies thus leaving the virus to take control over the hosts body. The treatment of HIV and AIDS pathogen involves taking of drugs that slows down the progression and continuity of virus in the hosts body. Drugs used in treating HIV pathogen are known as Antiretroviral [ARV].These drugs fight the infection and also slow the spreading of the virus in the victims body. Patients of HIV also take a combination of drugs known as CART [combination antiretroviral therapy] and also HAART [highly active antiretroviral therapy]. (Spach, D. H., & Hooton, T. M. 2016).

Some of the prophylactic measures that can be used to limit the risk of infection of HIV and AIDS include:

usage of contraceptives for example condoms during sexual intercourse be it anal, vaginal or oral sex.

HIV positive mothers should use antiretroviral drugs that are medically recommended during childbirth to reduce the risks of the child being infected with the disease too.

Sexual abstinence.

People who visit VCTs are less likely to get themselves in behaviors or activities that could risk their health, so people should be encouraged to get frequently tested so that they are aware of their status.

proper blood screening before transfusing it to the patient

Socio-politico-economic factors that help and hinder us in limiting the spread of HIV.

1. High rates of immorality-today people engage in promiscuous behaviors, e.g., prostitution without thinking about the consequences of immoral behavior.

2. Unprotected sexual intercourse-people should use condoms during sex to limit the chances of being infected.

3. Mass media has helped us in eradicating the spread of HIV as masses of people from all walks of the world are educated and enlightened on the disease, its causes and how it can get prevented.

4. Sex education-

5.Sexual abstinence-

6. Advertising and campaigns about HIV and AIDS have successfully increased human beings knowledge of the disease and how I can become prevented.

Policies and practices that can be employed to help limit the spread of the disease.

1. Programs and practices to prevent and reduce the transfer of AIDS from the mother to babies during child delivery through administering of antiretroviral drugs to the mother.

2. Social marketing-usage of condoms have become marketed whereby they have to get made cheaper so that they can be afforded by many and also promoting its use.

3. Adopting to more healthy lifestyles to reduce and limit the chances of getting infected with the virus. People have to quit behaviors that put their lives at risk for example promiscuity.

4. Rural-urban migration- policies have been put in place to manage the migration of people from rural to urban centers.

5. Enactment of safer blood practices in that before blood get transfused to the next patient; it should become properly screened to avoid on the patient getting infected with the virus.


Hall, J. C. (2011). Aids in the 21st century: Treatment, prevention, and epidemiology. PMPH-USA Limited.

Ramaiah, Savitri. (2008). HIV: Health Solutions. Gardners Books.

Spach, D....

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