Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Essay by 2815928University, Bachelor'sA+, June 2005

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1.0 Introduction

The topic for this paper is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), as it fits in well with all of the subjects being studied this semester. The nature of the disease lends itself perfectly to MD3002, Infection, Inflammation and Immunity, so this will be the major focus. How the virus infects the immune system, and the ways this affects the rest of the body will be outlined in detail. Minor focuses will be on MD3003 Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, where the drugs used to suppress HIV, and the ways in which they work will be outlined; MD3004, Preventive Medicine and addiction studies, which will tell the ways in which HIV infection can be prevented.

2.0 Overview

The sources of information for this essay were mostly from online journal articles, as well as from other reliable internet information sites. Information on the normal function of the immune system was derived from the textbook "Immunobiology - the immune system in health and disease" by Janeway, Travers, Walport, and Shlomchik.

The article by Sleasman, J and Goodenow, M, on HIV-1 infection from the journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology was extremely informative, as it had some information on all major and minor focuses. It discussed how Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the cause of AIDS, is a retrovirus, and a lentivirus, and the way it replicates by changing its RNA genome into DNA, and inserting it into the host cells own DNA. It also discusses the effects of the virus on the CD4 T cells, and how this has a negative effect on the immune system, resulting in many kinds of opportunistic infections and cancers. This article also discusses the various types of antiretroviral drugs available, and the ways in these work to block parts of the HIV lifecycle, inhibiting replication. It also mentioned...