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Hiv/aids and Homeostasis

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AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). HIV is transmitted usually through unprotected sex with someone who is already infected, but it can also be transmitted through infected blood. The immune system is greatly affected by the disease. Once it enters the body, the virus recognizes a protein on helper T-cells, called CD4 (Cluster of Differentiation Antigen No. 4), and it attaches onto that receptor to take over the CD4 cell. The result is a virus that looks and acts as a CD4 T-cell. In the first stage of HIV, the virus infects and kills a number of T-cells. B-cells then form antibodies, and the spread of infection stabilizes, and the symptoms disappear for a few months to several years. Your immune system uses B-cells, T-cells, and Macrophages to fight off pathogens and remember viruses for a stronger and quicker defense next time the virus enters the body, but during this time of stability, the immune system is less able to fight off other viruses. If a virus enters the body, the T-cells sent to fight the other virus may be already infected with HIV, meaning that the cells either die, or divide to make more cells, which will also be infected with the HIV virus. The virus slowly attacks the person immune system, making it unable to defend itself from viruses. A person can die from something as harmless as a cold, because as all the T-cells gradually die, the body canпÑ--Ð...t recognize foreign substances entering the body. The uninformed host with no symptoms spreads the virus to other uneducated people, uneducated in the sense that they donпÑ--Ð...t know that the person has the virus, nor do they know how to protect themselves from the virus. Our program will educate all of these people, it will show them that all of them are at risk to it, and a person may have it and not even know it. If we can teach this to them at a young age, they will know how to protect themselves and to stay away from the virus. With this program, more people will know of the virus and protect themselves from it. Their immune systems will be able to fight off viruses, ultimately leading to healthier, longer living citizens.


1) BSCS Biology: A Human Approach. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1997, 2003

2) (Janet Pieterse): How Does AIDS Effect The



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