6.3 HIV/AIDS

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  • Created by: Eva
  • Created on: 10-01-13 20:17
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  • HIV/AIDS
    • Causes
      • Weakens the immune system making someone vulnerable to infection.
      • Attaches to CD4 receptors on T-helper cells preventing cytokines from being released needed for T-killer cell and B-effector cell activation
      • Turns the cell into a 'virus factory' and then destroys it.
      • T-killer cells also destroy infected cells lowering the T-helper cell count.
      • Spread by bodily fluids:  sexual contact, infected blood or breast milk, during birth or in foetus
    • Symptoms
      • Stage 1:  Acute HIV. 1st few weeks ill, fever, tired and swollen glands. HIV antigens in blood mean HIV +ve
      • Stage 2: Chronic stage. Weeks to years depending on age, health and treatment. No symptoms.  Virus replicated and infects.
        • May develop secondary infections.
      • Stage 3: Symptomatic disease. Immune system starts to fail and T-helper cell levels drop. HIV Symptoms: diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss and night sweats.
      • Stage 4: Advanced AIDS. Major weight loss, dementia as brain cells infected and cancers like Kaposi's sarcoma. Secondary infections like TB and meningitis. Death.
    • Treatment
      • Incurable.
      • Mutates rapidly
      • Research limited: not a lot of similar viruses in animals
      • Antiviral drug therapy and stimulating the immune system expensive.
      • Limiting spread through education and better hygiene e.g. safe sex and clean needles.

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