HIV.

About HIV.

HIV was isolated as a virus in 1983. Scientific theory believes HIV originated in the central and western parts of Africa as a crossover (zoonosis) between primates and human beings...

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HIV Lifecycle.

The first phase is the attachment of the virus to an immune cell, which is the first process of infection and ends with the new virus budding out of the infected cell. Just as the influenza virus has an affinity for the cells...

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Disease progression after infection.

The rate of disease progression to AIDS is dependent on a variety of factors, one of which is the viral ‘set point’. This is the level of HIV in the blood established after initial infection...

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Stages of HIV infection.

Infection with HIV causes a spectrum of clinical problems, beginning at the time of sero-conversion (infection) and terminating with AIDS and death...

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Risks and modes of transmission.

Risks are associated mainly with sexual behaviour. HIV is transmitted through the exchange of body fluids, and is principally sexually transmitted as this is the main means of such exchange...

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The HIV test.

Rapid tests are becoming increasingly popular in Africa. They are highly reliable (over 99% accuracy), cost effective, and give the result within a short period of time (normally within half an hour)...

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The immune system.

There are two main types of T-cells that play an important role in our immune systems. The CD4+ T-cell has CD4+ molecules on its surface, and is responsible for gearing up the body’s immune...

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Anti-retroviral drugs.

In the 1960s, a failed anti-cancer drug called zidovudine was shelved and rejected by the medical fraternity, due to unpleasant side effects. Twenty years later...

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Types of anti-retroviral drugs.

Internationally there are many drugs available to fight HIV—some of them in combination pills. The number of generic versions available in Africa continues to grow, whilst drug companies...

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Modern myths associated with HIV.

Myths arise from lack of accurate information about many elements in life. For example, people used to think that the world was flat. Now we most certainly know that is not true...

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