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HIV Will We Ever beat the Virus?

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Introduction

HIV Will We Ever beat the Virus? HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus which in reality means something than only effects humans, that causes the immune system to not work properly due to the organism(virus) taking over human cells. HIV is part of a group of viruses named retroviruses which have genetic material in the form of RNA. Viruses other than HIV in this group have been found in various numbers of animals. It is understood that the HIV virus has descended from the virus found in monkeys- Simian Immunodeficiency Virus. There are two types of HIV that are currently recognised which are: HIV1 HIV2, both types of HIV are transmitted either by sexual contact, sharing needles, contaminated blood or from mother to baby via the placenta. Within the HIV1 virus there are many sub-groups, they are known as genetic cousins of each other. HIV1 is highly variable and it mutates regularly which means that there are many strains of the virus, which can be put into two groups, group M and group O. In group M there are currently 10 known genetic distinct sub-types known as A-J which are all found in different countries around the world. In group O there is another very distinct group of heterogeneous viruses. The main difference between all of the various subtypes is the fact that they all have different genetic compositions. ...read more.

Middle

However some will develop genetic changes which can make them resistant to drugs. Which is why there is combination therapy, so target many different types of the virus, and results show that they have substantially reduced the risk or further development of the virus within the host's cells and reduce death. The highest results were with a protease inhibitor and an NNRTI. There are many treatments for HIV in today's modern society which are being studied so they can help HIV patients to live longer. One of these is gene therapy; this would be used at an early stage of the disease, as it interferes with the process that HIV proteins and all enzymes are all made from. The three ways that gene therapy will work is that it can be used to target the HIV genes within infected cells (anti-viral), by attempting to change uninfected cells to prevent HIV from infecting them(protective) and also to increase the immune system so it has the ability to attack HIV cells. "Some approaches use small molecules called anti-sense oligonucleotides" which blind the RNA strands before they can form the functional proteins. "Other strategy is to use molecules that can detect HIV's RNA within the infected cells and splice it (cut it up) thus inactivating it" this would be done using Ribozymes as they can simultaneously stop the formation of many of the different sub types of HIV proteins. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is a scary thought but it could happen. HIV mutates and changes all the time, when a cure is 'found' it is useless because the virus is one step ahead of us at all times. Maybe the virus will eventually go around into a big circle and start all over again, allowing us to be in the lead but that to me is highly unlikely. I truly think that there won't ever be a cure for HIV but in the interest of humanity I hope they do find a cure, but then unprotected sex and other things that spread the virus will then be done more freely which will cause other problems. Meaning we are never actually free of searching for a cure, whenever there is a cure for something people begin to care less as they believe they can 'rely' on the cure to keep them healthy. This can be shown by the rates of how many people take the morning after pill to prevent pregnancy and forget about condoms. This shows that people take science for granted and don't realize how hard it is to make cures for things. Until people realize this no cure will be properly appreciated by everyone and will remain misused because most people have a very relaxed behaviour towards medical issues and diseases. Sources page Source one: www.avert.origins/htm Source two: Third edition advanced biology, J. Simpson, J. I. Williams, Unwin-Hyman. No date given. Source three: www.aidsmap.com Source four: www.sfgate.com Source five: The British medical association, complete Family heath encyclopedia, medical editor Dr. Tony Smith, 2000. ...read more.

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