HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, which belongs to the family of lentiviruses.
This retrovirus has RNA as its genetic material. It transcribes DNA, which is a complementary copy of RNA when it enters the cell. DNA produces new copies of RNA, which is used as a template.
HIV attacks an individual’s immune system. It destroys the cells that take part in the fight against any infection and disease.
According to the World Health Organization, HIV is one of the main global public health problems. According to the survey conducted in 2019, 38 million people (36.2 million adults, 1.8 million children) worldwide were infected with HIV. Day by day, new HIV infections are decreasing, but at a slow rate. According to the survey, it comes to light that 40% of cases have been reduced worldwide.
HIV can be transmitted in the following ways:
1) By coming into contact with a person with HIV during unprotected sex, transfer of blood, semen, etc.
2) When using the same needle used by a person with HIV.
3) During pregnancy, when the mother is a carrier of HIV, the chances of the baby becoming infected with the virus are very high.
This virus causes a chronic and sexually transmitted disease, AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), which is very deadly. It is not a congenital disease. AIDS is considered the final stage of HIV infection. There are no cures that have been discovered so far. Therefore, AIDS patients are destined to die (between 6 and 10 years). So in the case of AIDS, scientists only recommend prevention, and it has been rightly said that prevention is better than cure when there is no cure.
The world contracted the first case of AIDS in 1981 and, in the last 25 years, it has killed more than 25 million people worldwide. In India, the first AIDS case was reported in 1986 in Chennai.
AIDS is known as retroviral disease.
The cell-mediated immune system is affected by this disease. In this disease, the reduction of the CD4 cell of T lymphocytes, responsible for the production of cytokines, chemotactic factors, macrophages and other cells involved in the body’s immunity, has been observed.
AIDS can be transmitted through the exchange of blood, semen, vaginal secretions, etc. by a person who has AIDS, from mother to fetus through the placenta, from mother to baby through colostrum during breastfeeding, through unprotected sex with an infected person, and by sharing needles with the infected person.
Many misconceptions about AIDS circulate in society, generally destroying the social life of the patient. It is spread by touching, shaking hands, coughing, sneezing, caring for a person infected with AIDS, mosquito bites, hugging, sharing food, and kissing.
The true symptoms are episodes of fever, weight loss, diarrhea, multiple opportunistic infections (other viral, bacterial, fungal), swollen lymph nodes, neurological complications, etc.
AIDS can be investigated using the ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test. In this test, we use the enzyme peroxidase and the enzyme alkaline phosphatase. This test is a very quick AIDS diagnostic technique. Therefore, it is mainly used all over the world.
Do not waste your life; stay away from HIV. This is said because a cure has not yet been discovered. Treatments can prolong the life of a person with AIDS, but they cannot cure them. So prevention is the best and only option.