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World distribution and economic effects of AIDS

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Introduction

AIDS - Acquired immune deficiency syndrome World distribution and economic effects of AIDS AIDS was first diagnosed in the USA and although now a world wide pandemic, the main extent of the AIDS problem is concentrated in the continent of Africa, especially south of the Sahara desert. In 2004 30 million Africans were infected and living with AIDS, it is estimated that up to a third of central African are infected with the virus HIV. In other parts of the world the AIDS problem at this time is not so severe however the virus is spreading rapidly, especially in Russia and the former Soviet Union countries. In South East Asia the problem is growing the fastest, due to half the world's population living in that corner of the world. It is thought that by 2010 the AIDS problem in South East Asia will have dwarfed the problem in Africa. Currently in western MEDC countries the percentage of populations with AIDS is low in comparison and the percentage with AIDS is generally concentrated in needle injecting drug users and homosexuals. ...read more.

Middle

Eventually the infected individual can succumb to most forms of infection due to their immune system being so weak. AIDS is culmination of diseases gained due to a weakened immune system. People effectively die of a secondary often common disease. Replication of HIV First the HIV retrovirus attaches to a receptor site on the surface of the host cell, the envelope then fuses with the hosts cell membrane. Reverse transcriptase then makes a single strand of DNA from a single strand of viral RNA, a complementary strand is them made. The now double strand of DNA inserts itself into the chromosomal DNA of the cell. From here the viral DNA is the transcribed into mRNA which codes for the synthesis of proteins. New viruses are therefore made and leave the cell to infect other cells. Modes of transmission HIV is transmitted in either the blood or semen. Therefore it generally spreads via slight abrasions that may occur during sexual contact with an infected person or via the use of hypodermic needles that have been previously used by an infected person. ...read more.

Conclusion

Vaccines for the virus are hard to develop as the HIV is able to change it's surface proteins. As HIV is a retro virus it is also possible that any vaccine based on an attenuated whole virus could cause cancer. Prevention A very effective of preventing being infected by HIV is the use of a condom to provide a physical barrier between the two people. Limiting sexual partners can also easily decrease risk. The use and wide availability of clean needles can also help prevent transmission. Screening blood to be used for transmission and eliminating blood that is HIV positive can reduce transmission via transfusions. Sex education and HIV education and awareness programmes can also be effective in preventing the virus. Contact tracing is important in the control of the spread of the virus in the UK. Once diagnosed with the virus the infected person is asked to identify people they may have put at risk via intercourse or needles. These people are then offered a HIV test if they are found to be positive they then give the names of people the may have put at risk as so on. ...read more.

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