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No one can be certain about how or when the AIDS virus emerged. The closest related disease would be a simian immunodeficiency virus. This is where the suggestion arose that this disease was first contracted from a primate. It has also been thought that this once primate-only disease had evolved and somehow became transmitted to people. On June 5, 1981, the first report of AIDS hit the United States. The people weren't quite sure of what they were dealing with, so mistakenly, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released an article concerning a strange outbreak of pneumonia within the male homosexual community. What we have now come to call as AIDS has grown into public health and is a worldwide phenomenon, which has yet to cease spreading. The disease is contracted so rapidly that researchers say no matter how bad things seem to be; the worst has yet to come.
HIV is a life-threatening disease that attacks your body in a matter of about nine quick steps. First, this virus attacks by disabling a body's immune system and mixes things up so that your body begins to produce the virus. Next, the virus enters each cell by attaching to the cell receptors. The viral core enters the cell and the protein envelope fuses with the cell wall. Then it enters the nucleus and fuses into cellular DNA. This leads to the good cells producing the HIV cells. To make HIV the viral DNA and the RNA create and enzyme known as protease. These new cells gather at the edge of the wall and become infectious proteins. Once these proteins are formed, the viral particles exit the cell and begin again. As a result the newly formed virus spread like fire, rapidly infecting the remainder of the healthy cells.
The HIV virus is transmitted in one or more of the three ways listed. They are sexual intercourse, direct contact with infected blood, and transmission from an infected woman to her baby. The most common source of infection comes as a result of sexual intercourse, which includes anal, oral and genital. Although this virus was first introduced as the homosexual disease, statistics show that HIV is becoming more frequent in heterosexual men and women. Contamination by infected blood can occur in many forms.

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It can come about as the result of some bad blood from a transfusion, or even from use of contaminated needles. The transmission from mother to baby can take place during the gestation period or evenly shortly after through the mother's breast milk.
Although there is still no cure for HIV/AIDS, there are options of treatment for patients who have been diagnosed. Since this strange virus has emerged, scientists and researchers have been meticulously working to understand how it works and why it so greatly affects and damages human cells. An important discovery made by researchers that HIV uses an enzyme called reverse transcriptase to reproduce will be helpful as their studies continue. This enzyme is uncommon in humans; therefore they tried to find methods, which would specifically halt its development and action. These very techniques are the reason for a class of antiviral drugs called reverse transcriptase inhibitors. The first new drug in this category is zidovudine, regularly known as AZT, which was licensed in the United States in 1987. The drug AZT and other reverse transcriptase inhibitors have extreme side effects. One of these includes anemia, which can get so bad that transfusions are needed. Many of these drugs are not given separately. Since HIV is very adaptable, if the drugs were each given separately, then the virus would build up immunity against it. Indinavir, ritonavir, and saquinavir were the newest protease inhibitors introduced in 1995 and 1996. Protease inhibitors are a bit more effective than the reverse transcriptase because they are designed to block a further step in the HIV virus. Since it was better to distribute these drugs along with many others, researchers did experiments with certain combinations of medication and eventually found that some could even decrease the number of HIV cells in a persons blood so that the level of the virus becomes undetectable. These studies provided a concrete basis for many scientists to believe that the reproduction of the virus can be controlled by the use of certain drugs together. It is thought that, in order to find a cure they would have to look for something which would completely stop the reproduction of the HIV cells.
With these treatments now in effect, researchers are constantly looking for better ways to fight HIV. Some drugs that will soon emerge and are being developed are metabolism modulators, immune modulators, and protease inhibitor Kaletra. Metabolism modulators target a part of the host cell, which the HIV infection would use to survive. This is a new approach to the problem that has not yet been tried. As of this time there are no metabolism modulators that are approved for use as anti-HIV therapies. Although this therapy seems exceptionably good because it can seemingly trick the HIV to produce functionless DNA, there are some major side effects that accompany this form of treatment. The side effects are low blood cell counts and extreme pancreatitis. Other, more effective forms of metabolism modulators are being studied, but further advances in this technology won't come about until later because researchers are just now beginning to understand the way the disease works. Immune modulators are devices, which are created in accordance to how the virus interacts with our immune system. The fight between the human immune system and the HIV virus is complicated, but studies have shown specific parts of the immune system that are essential to effectively fighting the virus. In effect, this type of medication is used to aid certain parts of the immune system that are strong enough to overpower or damage the virus. The protease inhibitor Kaletra was recently approved in Canada a few months ago and it is claimed that this new drug is doing wonders for patients. The drug is a delicate balance of potency, tolerability, and durability so far not found in any other treatment. This drug used with a certain combination has made great progress. The approval of this drug was based on extensive studies, which contained trial groups of people around the world.
Even though HIV is still a big problem in the world, many steps are taken to ensure the battle against it remains constant. Research and new drugs are becoming more and more effective. Hopefully in the near future a cure will be within reach and the suffering that this virus has caused will cease. Research continues and new advances are made at closer intervals each time. A cure is within reach, it's just hard to say when well be able to reach it.

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