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AIDS and HIV virus - Essay Example

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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (a virus discovered by scientists in Institute Pasteur in Paris in 1983) is a type of retrovirus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and whose cause is unknown but thought to have originated from an animal or just like other…
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AIDS and HIV virus
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AIDS and HIV virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (a virus discovered by scientists in Institute Pasteur in Paris in 1983) is a type of retrovirus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and whose cause is unknown but thought to have originated from an animal or just like other Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) viruses, it existed in humans in a latent form and later became virulent.
The HIV virus transforms itself and enters the human Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) and this leads to it being an obstacle to development of an antiviral agent that can lead to its cure. HIV has many subtypes and hence development of a vaccine will have to be for all those subtypes hence only one form of HIV subtype will be cured and the others remain. According to World Health Organization (WHO) in 1996 “…estimates suggest that there were nearly 27.9 million cumulative cases of HIV worldwide since the start of the epidemic (Adler, 6).”
With the onset of the virus, screening kits and tests were developed in 1985 and modern forms of the kits are still being developed. These kits measure the antibody assays of both HIV-1 and HIV-2 (subtypes) and give accurate positive or negative results. There are other more accurate tests carried out and also others done when results are needed quickly like screening the saliva and urine for anti-HIV, the results are however not always accurate as with the other screening tests.
For more precise results however, the tests are repeated and follow up after around four weeks done. Since HIV results are sensitive and have great impact on the owner, confidentiality is always advocated for. In this regard, codes and not names are used and results sent in uttermost confidentiality.
The testing is also done accurately to avoid misdiagnosis or contamination in case of blood transfusion. Patients are counseled before being tested and also before being given the results. They are also taught how to interpret the results before the testing so that they can check the results and interpret them for those with courage (Adler, 10).
Work Cited
Adler, Michael. ABC of AIDS. Bristol: BMJ Publishing Group, 1987. Read More
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