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Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome - Term Paper Example

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AIDS was first recognized in 1981,the primary approach employed in identifying patients was through the identification of several opportunistic infections.Pneumonia is one the several opportunistic infections which provided a mean to identify AIDS patients…
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Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
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Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

Download file to see previous pages... It is characterized by the presence of profound defects of cellular immunity, these defects are a distinguishing feature as they are absent in other cases of immunodeficiency syndromes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals are classified as having AIDS if they have a positive HIV serology along with certain infections and malignancies such as pulmonary tuberculosis and cervical cancer, which can also occur in immunocompetent individuals but are more common in HIV positive individuals. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): AIDS is classified as a secondary immunodeficiency syndrome and is caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV belongs to the family Lentiviridae. AIDS is caused by two types of human immunodeficiency viruses, namely the HIV-1 and HIV-2. Most cases of AIDS in U.S. Canada and Europe are normally due to HIV1. Whereas HIV2 is responsible for AIDS in West Africa and it is less virulent than HIV1. DNA sequencing of HIV2 reveals that it is closely related to simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). On the contrary, HIV1 is not even remotely related to HIV2 and SIV. Immune system and HIV: Specific targets of HIV are TH cells, macrophages, dendritic cells and Langerhans cells which have CD4 molecule on their plasma membrane. TH cells are responsible for the synthesis and secretion of cytokines, which stimulate the cytotoxic T cells to carry out cytosis of infected host cells. TH cells also mediate the B-cell antibody production. Dendritic cells are immune cells that are involved in the presenting of antigenic materials on their surface in order to stimulate an immune response. Dendritic cells are present on the inner lining of lungs and nose and the digestive tract. Macrophages are cells of the immune system that destroy free viruses by the process of phagocytosis and act as antigen presenting cells, and lead to the activation of both B and T lymphocytes. Macrophages secrete interleukin 1 which activates specific B and T cell clones that have surface receptors complementary to the viral antigens. Langerhans cells are specialized dendritic cells present in the skin. These reside in the epidermal layer of the skin and are involved in phagocytosis of antigenic foreign particles and also act as antigen presenting cells. The skin has approximately 800/mm2 of dendritic cells. (AIDS. New York: Facts on File by Flanders, S. A., & Flanders, C. N. 1991). Transmission: All acts which result in the transmission of body fluids carry a risk of transmitting HIV infection from an infected individual to an uninfected individual. Sexual transmission: All forms of unprotected heterosexual and homosexual intercourse transmit HIV infection. Direct contact of sexual secretions of an HIV positive individual with genital, rectal or oral mucous membranes of an uninfected individual result in the transmission of HIV infection. Sharing of unsterilized needles: The sharing of unsterilized intravenous needles by drug users also carries a risk of transmitting HIV infection. HIV contaminated blood transfusion: HIV contaminated blood transfusion has been responsible for numerous AIDS cases in the 1980s. In particular, people at risk are hemophiliacs who regularly receive injections of blood products. Placental transmission from an infected mother to an infant: Approximately 25% of the infants born to HIV positive mothers have HIV infection. HIV transmission occurs through the uterus during parturition. The virus is also transmitted to the infant through breast feeding. Preliminary studies reveal that there are greater chances of HIV transmission to the infant during parturition than during the period of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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I didn’t know how to start my research paper. "Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome" helped me out a lot! Especially the list of resources was valuable.
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