The Difference Between Hiv And Aids Essay

The Difference Between Hiv And Aids Essay

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People often misunderstand the difference between HIV and AIDS. HIV is the abbreviation for human immunodeficiency virus, which attacks a person’s immune system, specifically infection-fighting T-cells. If too many T-cells are destroyed, the immune system becomes susceptible to infections and infection-related cancers that can ultimately lead to death. Although incurable, if HIV is detected before it becomes too advanced, the disease can be controlled and managed through proper treatment, medication, and medical care. This makes it possible for people with HIV to live as long as someone who does not have HIV. However, if HIV goes unnoticed or untreated, an HIV positive person can develop AIDS (What is HIV/AIDS?).
AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection, standing for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It occurs when an HIV positive person’s T-cell count falls below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood, compared to the normal 500 to 1600 cells per cubic millimeter of blood. Disregarding T-cell counts, AIDS can also occur if an HIV infected person develops one or more “opportunistic infections,” which are illnesses that develop due to weakened immune systems that would normally not bring about a disease. Not every person with HIV has it progress into AIDS, but for those who do, one is expected to live only for another three years, unless the person develops a dangerous opportunistic infection that will reduce their life expectancy even further (What is HIV/AIDS?).
Scientists believe the HIV virus was transmitted to humans via chimpanzees infected with simian immunodeficiency virus, SIV. People hunted these infected chimpanzees and came into contact with their infected blood. Once inside a person, SIV mutated into what is no...


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...te topics. However, it is clear that both of these diseases greatly impacted the world. They are both well known names throughout society and within history textbooks. The Black Death was not understood at its time, but it is now known that the Yersinia Pestis bacteria was the culprit of this massive plague. After killing around twenty million people in Europe in the first five years, the plague thankfully dwindled and can now be treated with antibiotics. AIDS is the final stage in HIV infection, which was first introduced to humans in Africa through chimpanzees infected with an exceptionally similar virus. Although AIDS has killed over thirty million people and is still rampant worldwide, HIV has become a controlled disease with the aid of anti-retroviral regimens. Parallels can be made in tragic events throughout history, the Black Death and AIDS being no exception.

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