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Mohammad Khairul Alam

Executive Director

Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation

 

 

 


 

The human immunodeficiency virus, commonly called HIV, is a retrovirus that primarily infects vital components of the human immune system such as CD4+ T cells, macrophages and dendritic cells. It also directly and indirectly destroys CD4+ T cells. As CD4+ T cells are required for the proper functioning of the immune system, when enough CD4+ cells have been destroyed by HIV, the immune system barely works, leading to AIDS. HIV also directly attacks certain human organs, such as the kidneys, the heart and the brain leading to acute renal failure, cardiomyopathy, dementia and encephalopathy. Many of the problems faced by people infected with HIV results from the failure of the immune system to protect them from certain opportunistic infections and cancers.

HIV is transmitted through penetrative (anal or vaginal) and oral sex; blood transfusion; the sharing of contaminated needles in health care settings and through drug injection; and, between mother and infant, during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.

AIDS is thought to have originated in sub-Saharan Africa during the twentieth century and it is now a global epidemic. At the end of 2004, UNAIDS estimated that nearly 40 million people were currently living with HIV (UNAIDS, 2004). The World Health Organization estimated that the AIDS epidemic had claimed more than 3 million people and that 5 million people had acquired HIV in the same year 


Introduction

In 1983, scientists in France led by Luc Montagnier, first discovered the virus that causes AIDS (Barré-Sinoussi et al., 1983). They called it lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV). A year later, Robert Gallo of the United States, confirmed the discovery of the virus, and they named it human T lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III) (Popovic et al., 1984). In 1986, both names were dropped in favour of the term human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (Coffin, 1986).

HIV is a member of the genus lentivirus (ICTVdb Descriptions, 61.0.6), part of the family of retroviridae (ICTVdb Descriptions, 61). Lentiviruses have many common morphologies and biological properties. Many species are infected by lentiviruses, which are characteristically responsible for long duration illnesses associated with a long period of incubation (Lévy, 1993). Lentiviruses are transmitted as single-stranded negatively-sensed enveloped RNA viruses. Upon infection of the target-cell, the viral RNA genome is converted to double-stranded DNA by a virally encoded reverse transcriptase which is present in the virus particle. This viral DNA is then integrated into the cellular DNA for replication using cellular machinery. Once the virus enters the cell, two pathways are possible: either the virus becomes latent and the infected cell continues to function or the virus becomes active, replicates and a large number of virus particles are liberated which can infect other cells.

Two species of HIV infect humans: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is the more virulent and easily transmitted, and is the source of the majority of HIV infections throughout the world; HIV-2 is largely confined to west Africa (Reeves and Doms, 2002). Both species originated in west and central Africa, jumping from primates to humans in a process known as zoonosis. HIV-1 has evolved from a simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVcpz) found in the chimpanzee subspecies, Pan troglodyte troglodyte (Gao et al., 1999). HIV-2 crossed species from a different strain of SIV, found in sooty mangabeys, an old world monkey of Guinea-Bissau (Reeves and Doms, 2002).

 
   

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    AIDS, HIV, Gender, discrimination, empowerment, Sex worker, Female, Commercial, Floating, Street, Girls, Women, Lesbian, Gay, Homo, Sexuality, CSWs, FSWs, SWs, Injectable, Injection, User, Condom, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Mohammad Khairul Alam, Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation