AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is elicited by a drastic cutdown in the number of CD4 T cells, which ultimately results in infections from pathogens that normally don’t afflict healthy people. The virus that causes AIDS is known as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), and was discovered and isolated in 1983. People with AIDS can also develop particular forms of Kaposi’s sarcoma or lymphoma of the B cells. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for AIDS, as anyone who has it eventually dies. HIV is known for its markedly high rate of mutation, complicating the development of a potent vaccine, and makes the prescription and administration of antiviral drugs have a limited effect. Certain drugs, such as those that hinder the reverse transcriptase of the provirus, aid in inhibiting viral replication, preventing the further infection of the individual’s healthy cells. Combination therapy is very popular and involves several antiviral drugs; it has proven quite effective at reducing the viral load and slows down the disease’s deadly progression. While the death toll for HIV surpasses 25 million and patients with AIDS are prone to a multitude of opportunistic infections, there is promise in new approaches in vaccination and passive immunization from the individuals with the disease who have produced a small amount of antibodies against the virus over several years.
-HIV disease is elicited due to persistent destruction of CD4 T cells
-this results in a significant T-cell immunodeficiency, which means the disease has progressed to AIDS
-since CD4 T cells are regularly proliferating as their normal function, this allows the disease to maintain a persistent infection
-individuals can remain healthy for a number of years, which means that it can be spread unknowingly, particularly through sexual transmission
-symptoms include: flu-like symptoms 2-4 weeks after infection, swollen lymph nodes, and mouth sores
-progression to AIDS is the late stage of the HIV infection, and some symptoms include: weight loss, sores, memory loss, pneumonia, persistent tiredness, and recurring fever
-there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but a popular treatment is known as antiretroviral therapy, which utilizes a variety of HIV medicine to help infected individuals live longer, healthier lives.
-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors inhibit step when HIV genetic material creates DNA from RNA
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase
Protease inhibitors impede step when material for new HIV virus is cut into specific fragments
Entry inhibitors prevent entry of virus into the cell