Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Human Immunodeficiency virus is a Retrovirus which is now a global health emergency. This virus is affecting all regions and parts of the world.HIV can cause millions of deaths and suffering to millions all around the world. Therefore early identification of HIV infection is very much important. If not it can cause the death of the infected person.

Structure of Human Immunodeficiency Virus

HIV is an enveloped RNS virus and it has approximately 100nm diameter. This virus can transmissible by the parenteral route. Human Immunodeficiency virus also has a lipid envelop. This envelop embedded in the trimeric transmembrane glycoprotein.

This virus can found in blood and other body fluids. Therefore it can primarily infect and replicates in lymphocytes. There are number different groups and subtypes with some significant antigenic differences. They are HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 was first isolated in 1983 and HIV-2 in 1986. Those two types have different epidemics.


Structure of Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Structure of Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Classification of HIV

The two Human Immunodeficiency Viruses, HIV-1 and HIV-2 both are retroviruses. These retroviruses can found in various vertebrate species in both animals and humans. These retroviruses found to be associated with,

  • Malignancies
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Immunodeficiency Syndromes
  • Aplastic and hemolytic anemia
  • Bone and joint disease
  • Disease of the nervous system

Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus

The transmission of HIV can happen through specific activities. Most of the times, people get HIV infection by sexual behaviors. There are some certain body fluids which can transmit HIV from one person to another. They are,

  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Rectal fluids
  • Vaginal fluids
  • Breast milk

Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus

These fluids should become in contact with mucous membrane. Not only that but also through damaged tissue or should be directly injected in to blood stream. We can see mucous membrane inside vagina, rectum, penis, and mouth.

HIV infection can rarely transmit in some specific ways. One is by receiving blood products from a HIV infected person. For an example, HIV infection can cause by organ tissue transplantation which contaminated with HIV. Therefore these blood products and organs should test for “Transfusion Transmissible Infections” before transfusion.

Human Immunodeficiency virus cannot survive long outside human body and reproduce outside a human body.

There are some ways that cannot spread HIV infection. They are,

  • By mosquitoes or other insects
  • Shaking hands, sharing dishes, or sharing toilets
  • Tears, saliva or sweat that is not mixed with HIV positive blood

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Symptoms of HIV

HIV infection can attack the immune system. Therefore it can mainly attack the CD4 cells. These CD4 cells are a subtype of cells known as T-cells. The main activity of T-cells is helping the body to fight the infection. Therefore HIV can reduce the number of CD4 cells in the body, if it left untreated. It makes the person more likely to get infections.


Symptoms of HIV
Symptoms of HIV

There are some major symptoms of HIV. These symptoms can be occurring due to other infections too. Therefore testing for HIV is very much important.

Major symptoms of HIV infection are,

  • Fever and chills
  • Night sweats
  • Muscle aches
  • Rashes
  • A sore throat
  • General fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Mouth ulcers

Diagnosis of Human Immunodeficiency Virus

The methods used to identify the presence of HIV employ some targets. They are,

  • Serological markers
    • Anti HIV-1+Anti HIV-2
    • HIV p24 antigen
  • Viral nucleic acid: HIV RNA

Antibody can detect approximately 3 weeks after infection.

The use of combination HIV antigen and antibody assay is much important than the use of antibody-only assay.

This can provide an increased level of sensitivity in early detection.

Viral RNA can be detected approximately 7-11 days after infection.


Diagnosis of Human Immunodeficiency Virus


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