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What Is Aids? Complete Definition And History Of This Fatal Disease

1197 words - 5 pages

What is AIDS?AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.Acquired - means that the disease is not hereditary but develops after birth from contact with a disease causing agent (in this case, HIV).Immunodeficiency - means that the disease is characterized by a weakening of the immune system.Syndrome - refers to a group of symptoms that collectively indicate or characterize a disease. In the case of AIDS this can include the development of certain infections and/or cancers, as well as a decrease in the number of certain cells in a person's immune system.A diagnosis of AIDS is made by a physician using specific clinical or laboratory standards.First the basics: AIDS (acquired immune ...view middle of the document...

All of the drugs marketed to treat HIV work by interfering with this process. There, that wasn't so hard, was it?The HIV Life CycleStep 1: Binding- a new virus is assembledStep 2: Reverse Transcription- RNA, while the genetic material of human cells is found in DNA. In order for the virus to infect the cell, a process called "reverse transcription" makes a DNA copy of the virus's RNA.Step 3: Integration- The HIV DNA is then carried to the cell's nucleus centerStep 4: Transcription- Once HIV's genetic material is inside the cell's nucleus, it directs the cell to produce new HIV.Step 5: Translation- The mRNA carries instructions for making new viral proteins from the nucleus to a kind of workshop in the cell.Step 6: Viral Assembly- Once the new viral particles are assembled, they bud off the host cell, and create a new virus. This virus is then able to infect new cells. Each infected cell can produce a lot of new viruses.The HIV Life CycleDefinitionsThere are a few things you need to know in order to understand HIV infection.DNA: DNA is like the "blueprint" for building living cells.Enzymes: Enzymes are like the workers of a cell. They build new proteins, transport materials around the cell, and carry out other important cellular functions.RNA: RNA is like the construction boss. Cells use RNA to tell enzymes how to build a specific part of a cell. To make a new protein, enzymes will copy a specific part of the DNA into a piece of RNA. This RNA is then used by other enzymes to build a new protein or enzyme.Proteins: The building blocks that are used to make living things.Nucleus: A small package inside the cell where the genetic material is kept.A virus consists of an outer envelope of protein, fat and sugar wrapped around a set of genes (in the case of HIV, genetic information is carried as RNA instead of DNA) and special enzymes.HIV has proteins on its envelope that are strongly attracted to the CD4+ surface receptor on the outside of the T4-cell. When HIV binds to a CD4+ surface receptor, it activates other...

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