Is AIDS taking over the world?

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Is AIDS taking over the world?

A disease is an abnormality of an animal or plant, caused by a pathogenic organism.

Therefore, disease resistance is the ability to withstand the attack of these pathogens and remain virtually unaffected. The disease may be infectious (communicable), caused by invading organisms that live parasitically on or within the body. The disease causing organisms include viruses, some bacteria and certain other organisms that may be passed from person to person – e.g. Plasmodium that causes malaria. Other types of communicable disorders are fungal, bacterial and viral diseases. The alternative type of disease to the contagious sorts above, are non-communicable disorders, which are not infectious. These can be caused by unfavourable environmental conditions. Cancer, allergies, genetic diseases and mental disorders all fall into this category.

AIDS is a viral infection, caused by an RNA retrovirus. A virus consists of a strand of nucleic acid (in this case RNA), wrapped in a capsid (a protein coat). The AIDS virus has an external envelope, made of lipid and protein. This envelope is derived from the cell membrane of the host cell in which the virus replicated. The virus contains reverse transcriptase enzyme.

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome; meaning that one is able to catch it, it is a weakness in the body’s system that fights diseases, and is a group of health problems that makes up a disease. A virus called HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) causes AIDS. If the body is effected, it will try to fight the infection. The immune system will produce antibodies, which are special molecules in the blood with the function to attack foreign bacteria or viruses. They attack antigens in a number of ways, by: making them clump together, neutralising the toxins released, reacting with the bacterial cells so as to ensure attachment to the phagocytes, and also damaging the cell wall using hydrogen peroxide.7

The HIV virus is passed from one person to another via blood-to-blood or sexual contact. In addition, infected pregnant women can pass HIV to their babies during pregnancy or delivery, as well as through breast-feeding. The virus is transmitted in body fluids: blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk and other blood containing fluids have all been proven to carry spread the virus.

By killing or impairing cells of the immune system, HIV progressively destroys the body’s ability to fight infections and certain cancers.

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