In 2013, an estimated number of around 35 million people worldwide were affected with HIV/AIDS. Of these, 3.2 million were children aged 15 or below. Most of these children were from sub-Saharan Africa, and were found to be infected by their HIV-positive mothers during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Currently, there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, however a treatment using variety of drugs can be combined and used to control the virus. This is known as antiretroviral therapy and its goal is to reduce the amount of virus in the blood to a level that is undetectable, however this does not mean that the HIV virus is completely gone, it is still present in the blood but at low levels and can still be transmitted to other people.
HIV is commonly found in body fluids such as semen, blood, breast milk and vaginal and anal fluids of an infected person. Therefore a person is most likely to risk infection via sexual contact, contaminated blood transfusions, using infected needles or from a mother to child during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Although HIV can also be found in other fluids, for instance, saliva and urine, the quantities are tiny and therefore is not enough to cause an infection.
Though the HIV virus infects variety of cells, AIDS results from specifically targeting CD4 receptors on the surfaces of T-Helper lymphocyte cells, a key component of the human immune system. They do this in order to gain entry into host T-cells and use the cells’ replication machinery to replicate its own DNA as the HIV virus does not...
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...20% and 35% at 18 and 12 months of protease inhibitor-containing therapy in antiretroviral-naïve adults, this suggests that there may be other cofounding factors (Carr, 2003). Other factors, such as the duration of HIV infection, age and gender may contribute to the risk of development of lipodystrophy in HIV-infected patients.
As mentioned previously, protease inhibitors used to treat HIV infected patients may be one of the causes for lipodystrophy. This is because the protein inhibitors suppresses the transcription receptors that are a key part of adipogenesis, a process by which preadipocytes differentiate to adipocytes. The suppression of adipogenesis decreases the production of adipose tissue, therefore causing lipodystrophy. In addition, lipogenesis is also supressed, meaning fatty acids cannot be converted to triglycerides and stored as fat (Ali et al., 2013).
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