Discovery of AIDS
AIDS was discovered in 1980’s in some young males. All these patients of AIDS were homosexual (sex between two males). Later, some non-homosexual patients of AIDS were discovered. They received blood transfusion and or blood products. In 1984, the virus of AIDS was discovered in Pasteur Institute of France and National Institute of Health in USA. In 1986, the virus was named as Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Symptoms of AIDS
- In the beginning there are no prominent symptoms of disease for month or years. There is a flue like attack in the early stage.
- Immune system is damaged i.e. acute weakness is the main symptom.
- Pneumonia, fever, dementia, diarrhea diseases are developed due to the loss of immunity.
- Skin cancer, called Kaposis sarcoma may occur. It causes death.
- Blood poisoning (septicaemia) and other forms of cancer may occur.
- Lymphosytes (cell of immune system) are affected, so brain cells are damaged, brain shrinks, memory loss, mental disorder take place. Behavior of patient is also changed.
Mechanism of Action
The HIV virus affects helper T- Lymphocytes (a white blood cell). T- Lymphocytes are Major component of the immune system. The increase of infection of the HIV decreases the number of T- Lymphocytes. It results in failure of immune system. So the infected person is attacked by many diseases. The HIV also infects the cells of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Latest studies show that this virus also infects and multiplies in monkeys. But they do not cause disease in them. It means that HIV is a host specific.
Methods of Transmissions
The HIV — virus can be transmitted to other persons by blood or semen because it is active only in body fluid.
The methods of its transmission are as follows:
(1) Blood transfusion:
When already infected blood by HIV is transfused into the body of a person, then this virus enters the body.
(2) By Intravenous Method:
When unsterilized syringes and needles are used, HIV may enter the body.
(3) Through Cuts and Wounds:
Through cuts and open wounds virus can be transferred from one person to another.
(4) From Mother to Baby:
Virus can be transferred from mother to baby through placenta at birth or through milk food from mother.
(5) Sexual Contact:
Sexual contact is the main cause of transmitting the virus from infected person to non-infected person.
Infection Cycle of HIV
(Prevention and Treatment of AIDS)
- The important measure of prevention is avoiding direct contact with HIV.
- Sterile syringe should be used for intravenous drugs injections.
- Use Sterile Surgical Instruments.
- Vaccines against HIV have been synthesized. Its experimental administration in human started in early 2001 in South Africa.
- Use effective drugs and vaccines to control the disease.
- The best drug is azidothymidine or azidovudine commonly known as AZT. This drug was prepared in 1987.
- Another drug Ribavarrin is also used to control the viral infection\diseases. It suppresses the AID virus.
- Sumarin drug is also effective to control the reproduction of virus in host body.
- Clean needles and sterile syringes should be used for injection.
- Before transfusion, blood should be properly checked and examined. it should be healthy and without infection.
- Avoid close contact with infected person.
- Proper guideline by education should be provided to the people. They should be aware of the disease.