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Aids And Hiv

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HIV and Aids

In today’s world it is sometimes hard to tell what the simple differences in science and technology are but really it’s quit simple. According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, the definition of science is "knowledge attained through study or practice," or "knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world." While we define Technology as a “human innovation in action that involves the generation of knowledge and processes to develop systems that solve problems and extend human capabilities” or “The innovation, change, or modification of the natural environment to satisfy perceived human needs and wants.” (http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/technology/nclb/definition.htm ) Now, that we know what the difference between science and technology is, this allows us to see how each interacts with the disease Aids.

Biological science is our main look into the effects of Aids and ways to treat the disease. This type of science deals with examining the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and distribution of living things. This gives use the ability to diagnosis diseases such as Aids by looking at the cells in the body. Later in this paper I will discuss how Aids and HIV are diagnosed more thoroughly.

Some major technologies have also been developed to help with research of diseases in science. Some of these technologies are health technologies such as microscopes, x- ray machines, lasers, plasma recovery equipment, microtome, spectrometers, chromatographers and then simple things to promote our safety like gloves, goggles, bandages, and other protective wear. Other technologies that are important to the medical field in many ways are things like electrification, planes, cars, highways, electronics, imaging, refrigeration, computers, internet, telephones and high performance materials. (www.greatachievements.org ) Technologies like planes, cars, and highways are all important so that patients can get to treatments and so equipment and specimens can be transported at faster and more efficient rate. Well things like electrification and refrigeration are used to perverse samples and run machines. Other important technologies that are used to help with smooth running of disease control are things like phones, internet, and computers these help to store results and to transport information from one person to another. Later in this paper you will see how these things are even more important to the control of Aids.

In the world we live in today, illness is serious business. But for the last 30 or so years, something new has hit the medical scene. Something, which is still to this day, not fully understood. There are many misconceptions about it, and even more myths. To this day, there is yet to be a cure. It showed its ugly face around 1977-78. It wasn’t until 1982 did we start to know it by its all too familiar name, AIDS: otherwise known as the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Although AIDS is technically referred to as the AIDS “virus”, the fact is that AIDS is only a condition caused by and actual virus. This Virus was discovered in 1984, and came to be known as HIV, also known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus. (www.aids.org )

HIV and AIDS are commonly thought to be the same thing, but in reality this is not the truth. There are some real differences here. HIV weakens the immune system until it can no longer fight off certain infections. These infections are normally no problem for a person with healthy immune system. But HIV attacks and uses the genetic material from the human CD4 cells or T-Cells and begins to replicate. A virus needs a host cell to replicate, as it cannot do so on it’s own. That is what defines a virus. The T-Cells play a crucial role in the immune system by coordinating the actions of other immune system cells in the human body. Once the CD4 cell is taken over, it can no longer fight the battle to good health. As more cells are damaged, the weaker your immune system becomes, and the weaker your immune system becomes, the more susceptible to illness you become. This process can generally take several years to get the point where a person can no longer sustain a healthy immune system. Simply put, HIV does not actually make you sick, but it allows sickness to thrive in the human body. “A healthy, uninfected person usually has 800 to 1,200 CD4+ T cells per cubic millimeter (mmÐ'Ñ-) of blood. During untreated HIV infection, the number of these cells in a person’s blood progressively declines.” (http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/howhiv.htm ) Once the cell count falls below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood, that person becomes vulnerable to the 25 different opportunistic infections and cancers that cause AIDS.

The Infection, known as HIV, can generally be broken down into four distinct stages. These stages include primary infection, clinically asymptomatic stage, symptomatic HIV infection and progression from HIV to AIDS. The first stage or primary infection stage usually lasts around 3 weeks. Initial symptoms usually resemble flu-like symptoms. Up to 20% of people in this stage experience symptoms serious enough to consult a doctor. So, most people don’t get a proper diagnosis right away, due to either the fact that they don’t go to the doctor, or that in goes un-noticed and is generally passed off as the flu. During this stage there is a large amount of HIV in the peripheral blood and the immune system begins to respond by producing HIV antibodies and cytotoxic lymphocytes.

The second or asymptomatic stage lasts for an average of ten years in most people. The host is generally free of any major symptoms, although there may be swollen glands. The level of HIV in the peripheral blood generally drops to very low levels but the infection still remains. So testing will still show a positive result.

Eventually, when the third stage is reached the immune system starts to become severely damaged. The lymph nodes tissues become damaged due to years of activity. HIV then begins to mutate and becomes more pathogenic. When this happens, it becomes stronger and more varied. As the immune system weakens the symptoms worsen. Then progression starts toward the fourth and final stage, AIDS.

When AIDS sets in, there are many different types of illness that the body can no longer fight off. Some of these illnesses include: HIV wasting syndrome, pneymocystis pneumonia, recurrent severe bacterial pneumonia, chronic herpes simplex infection, esophageal candidacies, extra pulmonary tuberculosis, Kaposi

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