Epidemiology of Hiv

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Epidemiology Paper: Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Grand Canyon University: NRS-427V

Epidemiology Paper: Human Immunodeficiency Virus Human immunodeficiency virus is a retrovirus that originates from West Africa. Chimpanzees in West Africa that were infected with a similar virus, simian immunodeficiency virus, were hunted by humans and their meat was harvested and eaten (CDC, 2014). During this process, humans that were exposed to their blood or ate their meat, were exposed to this same virus. The simian immunodeficiency virus mutated over time becoming the human immunodeficiency virus. Scientists believe this transmission from chimpanzees to humans has been occurring since the early 1800’s and has slowly spread across the world. HIV is a virus that eventually leads to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The human body is unable to rid itself of this virus, meaning it is a lifelong illness that necessitates lifelong treatment. There is no cure, although scientists worldwide are actively and diligently working towards one. The virus directly attacks specific cells in our body which are called T-cells. It invades the T-cell and uses them to replicate itself, destroying the T-cell in the process. T-cells help our bodies in the defense against infection and disease and when they are depleted and destroyed, cause and increase in susceptibility to infection and disease. When these cells are depleted to a dangerous level, the disease process then transitions to AIDS.
HIV is transmitted from person to person through bodily fluids. It can be passed through sexual acts, accidental needle punctures (health care workers), or intended needle punctures (drug users). The bodily fluids that transmit HIV are blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. A person must come in contact with one of these fluids with their own broken…...

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