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    HIV Essay

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    HIV Essay. Like the majority of the American population, I have lived in a cloud of ignorance about the HIV and AIDS crisis. I have never known anyone close to me who has been infected with either of the two viruses. So when the option to research something to do with sexuality arose, I felt that it would definitely further my education about a lethal killer that is roaming this earth. Since I knew next to nothing about this topic, I will start from the beginning of the disease and discuss where it is at now. The HIV and AIDS disease has been around for a while, although no one has been able to pinpoint its origin.

    There are many theories in the medical world, but the most predominant theory is that the virus first attacked humans in Central Africa up to 100 years ago (Kelly 524). It is said that the virus stayed mainly in this closed society until many years later. Many believe the disease spread when international travel began to increase. The HIV and AIDS viruses were believed to have arrived in the United States sometime during the 1970s. It was a common disease among gay males and intravenous drug abusers.

    It is well known that viruses can be transmitted through sexual contact, blood transfusions, and organ transplants. The acronym HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, while AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. In almost all cases, contracting the HIV virus leads to the development of AIDS. Despite controversy surrounding the cause of AIDS, careful research has proven without a doubt that HIV is the cause.

    Socially, the production of viruses has caused a lot of hate, prejudice, racism, and above all, homophobia. Many people only talk about the late stages of AIDS, but HIV does not always produce the AIDS virus. If the HIV virus is caught in the early stages, it is possible to get treatment and delay the effects of the AIDS virus. When an individual contracts HIV, they can expect a fever, swollen glands, and sometimes a rash. As the body’s system tends toward these symptoms, the HIV virus may still be undetectable. This first stage is called primary HIV disease, then moves onto chronic asymptomatic disease.

    With this stage comes a decline in the immune cells and often swollen lymph nodes. As time moves on, the depletion of immune cells increases, leaving the body open to opportunistic infection. This is called the chronic symptomatic disease. A noticeable symptom is thrush, a yeast infection of the mouth (Kelly 532). There can also be infections of the skin, as well as feelings of fatigue, weight loss, and diarrhea.

    The actual period of the HIV virus varies from person to person. Normally, within a year or two, the severe stages of HIV set in. At this point, in the victim’s life, it is said they have progressed into the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This status is established when one or more diseases have accumulated in the affected victim’s system. Many victims often have lesions appear on their skin or begin to acquire pneumocystic pneumonia.

    The final stage of the virus attacks the nervous system, damaging the brain and the spinal cord (Kelly 532). This can lead to a number of problems in the body, including blindness, depression, loss of body control, and loss of memory. These symptoms can often last for months before the victim finally passes away. Once the HIV virus enters the body, it infects the T cells, which are the protectors of the immune system.

    Once attached to the T cell, the HIV molecule sheds its outer coating and releases the viral RNA material into the T cell. RNA and DNA are genetic blueprints for the body. When the viral RNA enters the T cell, it begins transforming into the more complex viral DNA. This occurs because the virus brings along an enzyme that causes the change. Modern medicine uses the drug AZT to put the transformation on hold. After the viral RNA changes to viral DNA, it penetrates the nucleus of the T cell.

    It connects with the cell’s DNA and awaits the opportunity to produce more viral RNA. When the victim is under stress or infection, the cells break and become viral proteins.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    HIV Essay. (2019, Mar 29). Retrieved from

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