Hiv Virus And Its Effects On Human Populations Essay

Hiv Virus And Its Effects On Human Populations Essay

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Human immunodeficiency virus, most commonly known as HIV, is an acquired virus that attacks the immune system of the host and eventually leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome otherwise known as AIDS. HIV is a relatively new disease in human populations, AIDS was first observed in homosexual males in 1981 (Herron et al., 2014, p. 2). Later, in 1983, soon after the discovery of AIDS, scientists identified HIV virus as being responsible for AIDS, we now know that AIDS is the last stage of HIV infection (Tortora et al., 2013, p. 545). Since then HIV virus has been wrecking havoc in present day populations across the world. Since its discovery in the early 1980’s it has been estimated that globally at least 24 million individuals have died after acquiring the HIV virus (Huether and McCance, 2012, p. 183).
HIV is a blood-borne pathogen that can also be found in secretions of the vagina and rectum, breast milk, and semen (Herron et al., 2014, p. 3). HIV can be transmitted to uninfected individuals by contact with infected blood or bodily fluids, during hetero and homosexual intercourse, by sharing dirty needles, before and during childbirth, and during breastfeeding among other transmission routes. Although there are many different ways to become infected with HIV the most common transmission route is through heterosexual intercourse. In developed and industrialized countries there have been movements to promote safe sex and HIV awareness that have helped to curb the incidence of infection. In undeveloped countries HIV is still a prevalent disease and access to amenities such as condoms, clean medical supplies, and reputable health care are in short supply furthering the increase in the prevalence of HIV infection among these peop...

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...hat they lack the CCR5 coreceptor on their cell surfaces. (Galvani and Novembre, 2005). In a study conducted by Sullivan and colleagues using a mathematical model it was found that heterozygous individuals for the CCR5-Δ32 allele showed partial resistance to HIV with lower viral loads and a slowed progression to AIDS if the individual did indeed become infected with HIV virus (Sullivan et al., 2001).
Currently the CCR5-Δ32 allele is found mostly in Caucasian populations of European descent and has a frequency of 10% on average in Europe (Galvani and Novembre, 2005). One study performed by Alder and colleges found that the frequency of the CCR5-Δ32 allele follows a north south gradient across Europe. In the northern parts of Europe the CCR5-Δ32 allele is observed at high frequencies and in the southern parts of Europe it is seen at lower frequencies

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