By Wes Anderson
Symptoms of HIV
Swollen lymph nodes
- Mouth ulcers
Causes of HIV
HIV lives in the blood and in some body fluids. To get HIV, one of these fluids from someone with HIV has to get into your blood.
The body fluids that contain enough HIV to infect someone are:
vaginal fluids, including menstrual blood
lining inside the anus
Other body fluids, like saliva, sweat or urine, do not contain enough of the virus to infect another person.
The main ways the virus enters the bloodstream are:
by injecting into the bloodstream (with a contaminated needle or injecting equipment)
through the thin lining on or inside the anus and genitals
through the thin lining of the mouth and eyes
via cuts and sores in the skin
HIV is not passed on through:
contact with unbroken, healthy skin
being sneezed on
sharing baths, towels or cutlery
using the same toilets or swimming pools
contact with animals or insects such as mosquitoes
Immune cells involved
-HIV disrupts this process by directly infecting the helper T-cells. Your initial immune response does get rid of a great deal of HIV, but some of it manages to survive and infect these important cells. Once the infected helper T-cells are activated, they work to create new viruses instead of doing the job they are supposed to do in your immune system. In addition, many helper T-cells are destroyed in the HIV replication process.
How it Replicates
Infects the T-cells and brain cells
Binding and Fusion: This is tn the surface of the T-cell. This is similar to a key entering a lock. Once unlocked, HIV can fuses with the host T-cell and release its genetic material into the cell.
A special enzyme called reverse transcriptase changes the genetic material of the virus, so it can be integrated into the host DNA.
The virus’ new genetic material enters the nucleus of the T-cell and uses an enzyme called integrase to integrate itself into your own genetic material, where it may stay dormant for several years.
When the T-cell becomes activated, and the virus uses your own enzymes to create more of its genetic material—along with a more specialized genetic material which allows it make longer proteins.
A special enzyme called protease cuts the longer HIV proteins into individual proteins. When these come together with the virus’ genetic material to make a new virus
The virus pushes out of the T-cell and takes part of the membrane with it to keep all the necessary structures for infecting more cells
- Treated with a combination of medicines
- Take antiretroviral therapy(ART)
- ART involves many types of HIV medicines which are to be taken every day
- It prevents HIVs from replicating and reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to other people
-Get tested and know your partner’s HIV status. Talk to your partner about HIV testing and get tested before you have sex.
-Have less risky sex. Oral sex is much less risky than anal or vaginal sex. Anal sex is the most risky type of sex for HIV transmission.
-Use condoms. Use a condom correctly every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. ------Read this fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to use condoms correctly.
-Limit your number of sexual partners. The more partners you have, the more likely you are to have a partner with HIV whose HIV is not well controlled or to have a partner with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Both of these factors can increase the risk of HIV transmission. If you have more than one sexual partner, get tested for HIV regularly.
-Get tested and treated for STDs. Insist that your partners get tested and treated too. --------Having an STD can increase your risk of becoming infected with HIV or spreading it to others.
-Talk to your healthcare provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is an HIV prevention option for people who don’t have HIV but who are at high risk of becoming infected with HIV. PrEP involves taking a specific HIV medicine every day. PrEP should always be combined with other prevention options, such as condoms.
-Don’t inject drugs. But if you do, use only sterile drug injection equipment and water and never share your equipment with others.