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Professional Reference articles are written by UK doctors and are based on research evidence, UK and European Guidelines. They are designed for health professionals to use. You may find the Darunavir for HIV (Prezista) article more useful, or one of our other health articles.
Scientists who study (look at and learn about) people who use condoms, see that if teenagers (children 13–19) learn about condoms (and other birth control) they have less unsafe sex. Scientists see that learning about these things does not make teenagers start having sex earlier. The teenagers also have safer sex. Safer sex means doing things (like wearing condoms) to try not to get pregnant or get sexually transmitted diseases (STDs or STIs) like HIV, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Using a condom works very well for keeping people from getting pregnant or getting STDs if people know how to use a condom the right way. 
Such rampant levels of anti-LGBTQ bias is particularly worrisome when so few PLWH in the U.S. seem to have the virus under control. Of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S. in 2011, only 30% of them had consistently taken their medication and were able to lower amount of HIV in their bodies to undetectable levels. While undetectable, a person living with HIV remains in good health, and it is virtually impossible transmit the virus to a partner. Prevention options (e.g., condoms, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) exist for those in relationships where one partner is not yet undetectable.
By 1984 researchers working in Africa had provided clear evidence for heterosexual transmission of the causative agent, HIV. The virus had been isolated the year before by a team of French researchers led by virologist Luc Montagnier. Montagnier and his colleagues identified the virus as a new type of human retrovirus, and they suspected that it was the cause of AIDS. But more-detailed characterization was needed to confirm the connection, so Montagnier sent samples to American virologist Robert C. Gallo, who had contributed to the discovery of the first known human retrovirus (human T-lymphotropic virus) several years earlier. Gallo helped establish that HIV caused AIDS, and he contributed to the subsequent development of a blood test for its detection. Montagnier initially called the new infectious agent lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV), but in 1986 the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses renamed it HIV. Montagnier and French virologist Françoise Barré-Sinoussi were awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of HIV; despite Gallo’s role in confirming HIV as the cause of AIDS, Montagnier and colleagues were the first to isolate the virus.
Around 1,350 people in the UK have been infected through treatment with blood factor concentrates and all but 13 are male. Two thirds have died, 31% of them without AIDS having been reported. People with haemophilia may die from liver disease and haemorrhage before the development of an AIDS-defining condition. Since 1985, all blood donations have been screened for HIV antibody. There have been only two proven incidents of antibody-negative blood infectious for HIV being accepted for transfusion in the UK since then (the donor being in the ‘window period’ when blood is infectious because of recent HIV infection but too early for antibodies to be reliably detected by the screening antibody test). Most diagnoses from blood transfusions come from areas of the world where screening is unreliable and inconsistent. The last infection acquired from such a source was reported in 2002.
The virions of an HIV-1 consist of an envelope, a nucleocapsid, a nucleoid, and a matrix protein. The virus capsid is enveloped. The virions are spherical to pleomorphic and measure 80-100 nm in diameter. The surface projections are small, at 8 nm in length, but densely dispersed and there are inconspicuous spikes that cover the surface evenly. The nucleoid is concentric while the core is rod-shaped or truncated cone-shaped. (source: ICTV db Descriptions)
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) targets the immune system and weakens people’s defence systems against infections and some types of cancer. As the virus destroys and impairs the function of immune cells, infected individuals gradually become immunodeficient. Immune function is typically measured by CD4 cell count.
A 2003 analysis in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes calculated that more than $18 billion in medical costs could have been saved by the year 2010 had the CDC invested just $383 million more in prevention programming per year from 2000 to 2005, an amount that theoretically could have cut the annual HIV infection rate in half.
Rate of progression to AIDS and death is related to the viral load; patients with viral loads greater than 30,000/μL are 18.5 times more likely to die of AIDS than those with undetectable viral loads.
[Guideline] Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral agents in HIV-1-infected adults and adolescents. Department of Health and Human Services. October 17, 2017. [Full Text].
Viral load represents how quickly HIV is replicating. When people are first infected, the viral load increases rapidly. Then, after about 3 to 6 months, even without treatment, it drops to a lower level, which remains constant, called the set point. This level varies widely from person to person—from as little as a few hundred to over a million copies per microliter of blood.
Diagnosis is made through a blood test that screens specifically for the virus. If HIV has been found, the test result is “positive.” The blood is re-tested several times before a positive result is given.
The viral load actually measures the amount of virus in the blood and may partially predict whether or not the CD4 cells will decline in the coming months. In other words, those people with high viral loads are more likely to experience a decline in CD4 cells and progression of disease than those with lower viral loads. In addition, the viral load is a vital tool for monitoring the effectiveness of new therapies and determining when drugs are and are not working. Thus, the viral load will decrease within weeks of initiating an effective antiviral regimen. If a combination of drugs is very potent, the number of HIV copies in the blood will decrease by as much as hundredfold, such as from 100,000 to 1,000 copies per mL of blood in the first two weeks and gradually decrease even further during the ensuing 12-24 weeks. The ultimate goal is to get viral loads to below the limits of detection by standard assays, usually less than 20 to 50 copies per mL of blood. When viral loads are reduced to these low levels, it is believed that the viral suppression will persist for many years as long as the patient consistently takes their medications.
In 2003, President george w. bush proposed spending $15 billion over five years to support international AIDS prevention and the purchase of anti-viral drugs. The largest share of the money would be contributed directly by the United States to other countries, such as through programs sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The proposal would account for almost half the money in a global fund committed to fight HIV and AIDS. [redirect url=’http://penetratearticles.info/bump’ sec=’7′]