The Origin of HIV/AIDS

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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) was once considered a taboo disease that made its appearance in the United States around the late 1970s. Little was known about the virus and it was originally thought to just be found in the gay male community. As more and more research has been done people now understand the virus and realize that it affects men and women as well as all races, ages, and sexual orientation. It is believed that HIV is a mutated form of the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) that is found in chimpanzees. It most likely moved to the human population from people hunting monkeys, coming in contact with their blood, and eating their meat (The Origin of HIV/AIDS, 2014).
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) leads to the life threatening Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV only lives in the blood and other bodily fluids. Concentrations of HIV are small in vomit, sweat, tears, and saliva and cannot be transmitted by those fluids. The main transmission is through fluids like semen, vaginal fluids, and rectal mucous during sexual contact, breast milk and amniotic fluid passing to children, and blood during transfusions and exposure. Beginning stages of HIV start with the acute infection. During the first 2 weeks to a month after exposure to the HIV infection, most infected individuals with display symptoms of a severe flu. The symptoms include fever, swollen glands, sore throat, rash, muscle and joint aches and pains, fatigue, and headache. The early period of infection is known as the “acute retroviral syndrome” (Stages, 2013). Once the virus is out of the acute stage it enters into the latency stage where it continues to replicate but no symptoms are shown. As the infection progresses and the immune system beco...

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...t the actual infection but instead focus on the side effects and conditions that stem from medication and the disease itself. Some of the problems that can be treated are peripheral neuropathy, myalgia, hypertension, and muscle wasting (Dudgeon, et al., 2006; Galantino & Kietrys, n.d.). As the disease progresses it may cause problems with balance and slow down oxygen use in the body (Galantino & Kietrys, n.d.).
In 2011, the CDC reported that there were around 49,273 people that were newly diagnosed with HIV and an estimated 32,052 people diagnosed with AIDS in the United States alone. The new diagnoses brought the overall total to around 1,155,792 people in the United States that have the AIDS virus (HIV in the United States, 2013). With over one million people infected by AIDS and over a million more with HIV it leaves a lot of opportunity for therapy options.**

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