Anita Dalal*, J.S Rana, Ashok Kumar


HIV belongs to a large family of ribonucleic acid (RNA) lentiviruses. These viruses are characterized by association with diseases of immunosuppression or central nervous system involvement and with long incubation periods following infection before manifestations of illness become apparent. Retroviruses are unable to replicate outside of living host cells and do not contain deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). HIV primarily infects cells that have CD4 cell-surface receptor molecules, using these receptors to gain entry. Once the HIV proviral DNA is within the infected cell's genome, it cannot be eliminated or destroyed except by destroying the cell itself. Though the pharmacologic therapies exist for prolonging the lives of persons infected with HIV. Such therapies are expensive and out-of-reach for many persons worldwide. All infected persons are at risk for illness and death from opportunistic infections and neoplastic complications because of the inevitable manifestations of AIDS. Considerable effort has been placed into education of persons potentially at risk for acquiring HIV. A proper understanding of AIDS issues, including the nature of HIV and its means of spread, should precede decisions regarding allocation of health care resources and control measures. Prevention strategies for HIV will require ongoing education, despite a general public perception, particularly among young persons, that AIDS is a peripheral threat that does not call for changes in lifestyle.

Keywords: CD4 cell-surface receptor, Immunosuppression, Lentivirus, Retrovirus.

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